The Philadelphia 76ers and LA Clippers started the 2019 portion of their seasons with the Sixers collecting a 119-113 win marked by chippy play and two ejections.
First, Sixers center Joel Embiid and Clippers guard Patrick Beverley received offsetting technicals at 9:32 in the fourth quarter after getting tangled up. Embiid grabbed a rebound and Beverley yanked his jersey. Sixers reserve Jonah Bolden pulled Beverley off Embiid in a mass of players.
Minutes later, the Clippers' Avery Bradley and the Sixers' Jimmy Butler got tied up going for a rebound and shoved each other. Referees and security were quick to come on the court and separate the players. They were each hit with technicals and ejected with 7:01 to play.
"We got too close to one another and the same things happen: some pushing, some shoving, some technical fouls and we got ejected," Butler said.
After the game, Butler was asked if the shoves warranted the ejection and if officials gave him an explanation. He told Philly.com's Keith Pompey that there was no explanation given and overall, that sort of thing is not his call.
“He said ‘ejected,’ so I went to the locker room,” Butler said, per Pompey. “I mean, there’s nothing I can do.”
Butler also pointed out that competitive play is what he likes to see.
“That’s what Philly likes to see,” Butler said. “That’s what the league is there for. The competitiveness. Obviously nobody wants to see a fight. But I like the energy that it brings.”
Bradley was not made available to the media after the game.
As for the Embiid-Beverley incident, Embiid said he had no problem with Beverley because of it.
"I love that guy," Embiid said of Beverley, per ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz. "He's like [Thunder star Russell] Westbrook -- plays hard. That's how the game should be played.
"I love playing against guys like that who fight. You know they're going to be aggressive, you know they're going to be physical. I love the physicality of this. It's all fun to me."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report