Carmelo Anthony was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul after he collided with Jusuf Nurkic on a drive to the basket during Sunday night’s Thunder-Blazers game.
Anthony appeared to double-pump while hanging in the air in an attempt to avoid a shot block from Nurkic when his elbow made contact with Nurkic’s face.
Nurkic was initially whistled for the foul, but after the officials reviewed the play, it was determined that Anthony used his elbow to initiate contact. Instead of an and-1, Anthony received a Flagrant 2, resulting in an automatic ejection.
The call baffled Anthony and Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan.
“I’ve never seen, in the history of the game, a guy gets an and-1 play and then get ejected from the game,” Donovan said.
Anthony left the game with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter. He had 15 points and six rebounds.
The Blazers held off the Thunder 103-99.
Joe Borgia, NBA Senior Vice President of Replay & Referee Operations, joined the GameTime crew to break down why the officials ruled a Flagrant 2 foul.
Crew chief Rodney Mott also explained his ruling via pool report:
“We deemed that the contact was excessive and that it was not a natural basketball move where he seeks out Nurkic, hits him in the face with an elbow and goes back to the basket. So because it’s unnatural and it’s deemed excessive, therefore it is a (Flagrant 2).”