DeMarcus Cousins was ejected from Monday night's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder for swinging his elbow into the head of Thunder star Russell Westbrook.
The play happened in the third quarter as Cousins cleared away a defensive rebound. When Cousins raised his elbows near Westbrook's face, the Thunder guard fell to the floor holding his head.
After that, Westbrook remained sprawled on the floor for a few seconds and replays showed Cousins slightly swung his elbow toward Westbrook. It appeared he caught Westbrook slightly on the back of his head near his neck without following through. After that incident, Westbrook remained in the game.
Cousins wasn't ejected by officials until they viewed replays on a TV at the scorers' table, at which point they assessed Cousins with a flagrant foul 2.
"We didn't think it was that fair. He doesn't do anything intentional," Holiday said of Cousins, who was assessed a flagrant foul for swinging an elbow near Thunder star Russell Westbrook's head. "We just wanted to win for him."
Cousins had 18 points and nine rebounds before his ejection with five minutes remaining in the third quarter and did not speak with reporters after the game.
Westbrook remained in the game and finished with 22 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists and three steals. However, Westbrook also missed 13 of 19 shots.
Westbrook also did not discuss Cousins' foul, but did lament "mental errors" that plagued Oklahoma City while they were losing a lead that was 19 points in the first quarter.
"Guys got to take personal pride and understand how important it is to go out and compete and not take it for granted," Westbrook said. "As players, you go out on the floor, and sometimes you take it for granted and don't realize how important it is to embrace the moment. Each individual guy has to do that every night."
Pelicans guard Tony Allen said Cousins’ “emotions got the best of him,” and that his history of outbursts seems to be held against him in such situations. Allen also asserted that Westbrook “definitely” flopped.
Westbrook “took advantage of Cousins’ history. He was going to get the best of that call,” said Allen, a 14-year veteran. “You saw him get right back up and miss the free throw.”
Tony Allen on Cousins' flagrant on Westbrook: "I definitely think he flopped. He took advantage of Cousins’ history. He was going to get the best of that call...You saw him get right back up and miss the free throw. He missed it, so you know what that means. The ball don’t lie."— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) November 21, 2017
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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