Metta World Peace was ejected from the Los Angeles Lakers’ 114-106 double overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder after receiving a flagrant foul two for hitting James Harden in the head with his elbow. Betting lines
World Peace threw down a dunk to draw the L.A Lakers to inside one, 48-47, with 1:39 remaining in the 2nd quarter. As he made his way back up the floor, World Peace started to beat his chest in celebration before striking Harden, who was behind him, in the back of the head with his left elbow, causing the Oklahoma City guard to fall to the court. Sports scores
Harden stayed down and play was stopped for several minutes while the referees separated Lakers and Thunder players who were arguing and the flagrant 2 determination was only made after the crash was reviewed on a video monitor at center court.
Harden, who had fourteen points, didn’t return to the court in the 2nd quarter. Harden was diagnosed with a concussion, according to the Thunder. He will fly back with the team to Oklahoma City and his standing for the Thunder’s last 2 regular season games is undecided.
World Peace issued a statement to reporters in the locker room after the game, but did not answer any query.
“During that play I just dunked on (Kevin) Durant and (Serge) Ibaka and I got truly emotional and excited which was unfortunate that James had to be struck with an unintentional elbow,” World Peace recounted. “I hope he’s fine. The Thunder, they’re playing for a championship this year, so I’m hoping that he’s OK and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden.
“You know, it was such a superb game which was unlucky so much emotion was going on at that point. … That’s it for today.”
World Peace appeared to plead to an official that his elbow was inadvertent and only a result of his chest-thumping celebration motion.
“I saw it occurred and it was a really hard hit,” Ibaka related.”… That’s the 1st I’ve seen anything like that happen live. I was stunned. I went up to him to ask him why he probably did that and he wanted to fight me too. I don’t know what he was thinking. I have no idea.”
Harden is now facing a severe process before he will be able to come back to action under the NBA’s recently instituted concussion policy.
A player diagnosed with a concussion must complete a series of measures to confirm that he’s healthy sufficient for competition. When he is symptom free, the player must make it through increasing phases of effort — from a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills — while guaranteeing the symptoms don’t come back after each one.
World Peace will however need to deal with the NBA league office, which reviews each flagrant foul to ascertain if a suspension is assured. The Lakers have one game remaining in the regular season in Sacramento before the playoffs begin next weekend. If World Peace obtains a multigame suspension for the act, he is going to serve the 1st game against the Kings and any successive games in this year’s postseason, instead of at the start of the 2012-13 regular season according to a league resource.