WASHINGTON (AP) — An ejection came first, and now Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. is in danger of being suspended for charging and knocking over Kelly Olynyk in Game 3 on Thursday night.
Olynyk had been called for an illegal screen in the second quarter and was talking to referee Monty McCutchen when Oubre got up, sprinted toward him and knocked over the Boston Celtics big man. Oubre was given a flagrant 2 foul and tossed, a mistake teammates hope is a learning experience.
“We had a situation today obviously with Kelly that he lost his cool a little bit, but he’s still young. He has to learn from it,” center Marcin Gortat said after the Wizards’ 116-89 victory that cut their second-round series deficit to 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday.
John Wall, who led the Wizards with 24 points, said he’s considered losing his temper during games but told Oubre he can’t react like that because he’s an “X-factor” and means so much to the Wizards. Oubre hit a basket 10 seconds before drawing the offensive foul and then costing himself the rest of the game.
“We can’t respond that way,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “When you keep getting hit in the head, you might respond that way and I think that’s what he did. I’m not saying that that was the right thing to do.”
The 7-foot Olynyk didn’t expect Oubre to confront him, let alone knock him to the ground. He said it’s up to the NBA to decide on a suspension.
Oubre did not speak to reporters after the game.
While the Wizards took issue with some of the screens Olynyk has been setting, the Celtics thought he was an innocent player in the situation.
“There was no such thing as the two Kellys,” Boston center Al Horford said. “Kelly Olynyk stayed back. Oubre just came at him. Kelly just stayed back. He made a basketball play, and the incident happened.”
The chippy game included two more ejections beyond Oubre’s and a total of eight technical fouls. There’s no love lost between the Wizards and Celtics, and the Oubre-Olynyk incident was the height of the physicality Thursday.
“I don’t know why he reacted like that, especially to Kelly,” Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas said. “Kelly’s not trying to make anybody mad. Not trying to put anything on Kelly but he’s just not like that. I guess you can pick and choose who you want to do that to.”
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