Thabo Sefolosha didn’t take long to get under Carmelo Anthony’s skin Wednesday night in Atlanta. The Knicks star, apparently irked by the Hawks swingman’s physical defense, took a swing at Sefolosha’s head, resulting in an ejection during the second quarter.
The sequence began with Anthony and Sefolosha jockeying for position near the Knicks’ basket on a three-point attempt by New York’s Justin Holiday. Anthony used his left arm to push ahead of Sefolosha, briefly grabbing the latter’s neck area, then he hit Sefolosha in the face with his right arm.
Carmelo Anthony was ejected in the 2nd quarter tonight for this shot to the face of Thabo Sefolosha https://t.co/YG0oMbLwke
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 29, 2016
The two players then came face-to-face and had to be separated by teammates and officials after Sefolosha gave Anthony a mild shove. Both earned technical fouls for that exchange, and the game was delayed for several minutes as officials conducted a video review of what led to the jawing.
That review resulted in Anthony getting a flagrant 2 foul, which meant his automatic ejection. He left having scored 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting from the field and a free throw.
“He punched me,” Sefolosha said afterward. “That was a fist right in my face.”
— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) December 29, 2016
The Hawks went on to win, 102-98, in overtime. “Oh man, it’s killing us,” saidKristaps Porzingis, who scored 24 points on 7-of-17 shooting but had five turnovers. “I know it’s killing everybody here in the locker room right now.”
Anthony declined to speak to reporters after his second ejection of the season, the other coming in a November game against the Celtics, also coming in the second quarter, after he picked up two quick technical fouls for arguing with a referee. Only the Wizards’ John Wall has been tossed from as many games so far this season.
Here is video of the entire sequence: