Atlanta forward Al Horford was ejected in the final minute of the second quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday night for throwing an elbow at Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova. Horford and Dellavedova got tangled on the floor while scrambling for a loose ball. As Dellavedvoa was rolling up on his right knee, Horford brought his right arm down hard and appeared to strike the side of the scrappy Australian guard’s head. The officials took several minutes looking at the play on a video monitor before assessing Horford with a Flagrant 2 foul and ejecting him. He had 14 points for the Hawks, who led 49-48 at half.
The NBA posted an explanation that read: ”Horford threw an unnecessary and excessive forearm/elbow to Dellavedova, making contact above the shoulders, therefore a Flagrant 2 foul was called on Horford.” Horford could face further discipline from the league. While the officials huddled, Cleveland fans serenaded Dellavedova with chants of ”Del-lee, Del-lee.” He was given a technical foul for his actions.
It’s the second time in this series Dellavedova has been involved in a loose-ball situation with an Atlanta player. While diving for a ball in Game 2, he accidentally injured Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, knocking him out of the playoffs with a severely sprained ankle. Dellavedova, too, had a run-in with Chicago’s Taj Gibson in the second round. Gibson had to kick himself free from Dellavedova, who scissor-locked his legs around the Bulls forward. Gibson was assessed a Flagrant 2 and Dellavedova was issued a technical foul the following day.
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