We'd been building toward something like this.
Jimmy Butler and Jared Dudley were ejected for a confrontation during Saturday's Game 4 in the third quarter of the Sixers' first-round playoff series against the Nets, while Joel Embiid received a Flagrant 1 foul for the contact on Jarrett Allen that started the mess (see video above).
Though Embiid mostly got the ball — and pointed toward it after Allen fell to the floor — Dudley and the Nets obviously took exception to the foul. After Embiid picked up a Flagrant 1 foul for an elbow to Allen's face in Game 2, Caris LeVert told reporters the Nets found Embiid laughing during his postgame apology "kind of disrespectful." Embiid reiterated his apology before Game 3 and said he'd also sent a text to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Dudley, who'd called Ben Simmons an "average" half-court player and ignited Simmons' brilliant Game 3 performance, incited the chaotic scrum with his shove. Dudley had been talking trash and looking to irritate the Sixers throughout Game 3.
The officials decided that Butler's response to Dudley warranted an ejection as well. The Dudley-Butler trade-off clearly favors a Brooklyn team desperate to even a series that's well past its boiling point.
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