Joel Embiid felt LeBron James should have been ejected for a foul during the Philadelphia 76ers eventful victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. (More Sports News)
Embiid contributed 28 points as well as six rebounds and four assists as he played 38 minutes in Philadelphia's 107-106 triumph - a result that handed the Lakers just their second loss in 10 outings.
The center also picked up a flagrant foul for an elbow on Anthony Davis not long after James had been assessed one himself, having made contact with Embiid during an attempted dunk in the third quarter.
In obvious pain after landing flat on his back, the three-time NBA All-Star was not as effective down the stretch during a dramatic finish that saw the Lakers roar back to take a late lead, only for the 76ers to snatch the win thanks to a Tobias Harris shot with three seconds left.
Speaking to the media after the game, Embiid made clear LeBron should have been given a flagrant 2, which would have ended his involvement in proceedings.
"That's a very dangerous play," Embiid said. "I guarantee if that was me, I would have probably been ejected from the game.
"When you compare that to the one that I got, which I thought I didn't really hit him, I didn't elbow him. I might have touched him. But I don't think it deserved the flagrant, if you're going compare those two.
"Those are tough plays, and I just thought, you know, it should've been a flagrant 2."
Big time shot and a great win. WE MOVE #24 pic.twitter.com/UG5KF5Fg5H— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 28, 2021
Embiid revealed how his sore back - an injury that has troubled him during this season - did not allow him to contribute as he would have liked down the stretch, the Lakers producing a 13-0 run to edge in front before Harris' game-winning shot.
"I missed a couple shots. I just didn't have the legs. Not because I was tired, which I wasn't, but my back just didn't allow me to dominate the way I've been doing in fourth quarters," Embiid said.
Having seen his team improve to 13-6 for the season, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers revealed his immediate concern when seeing Embiid go down on the court, though insisted James was only making a "physical play", rather than anything more malicious.
"First of all, LeBron's not a dirty player," Rivers said. "It was just a physical play, and they had to call the flagrant, I guess.
"You know, all of the flagrants tonight... you can get a flagrant easy these days. But that fall was hard, and there was some concern there, for sure.
"The fact that Joel kept going, clearly he wasn't the same after that, as far as his movement. And we kinda knew that, and we used him a lot in pick-and-rolls because of that."
James finished with 34 points and six assists during his 39 minutes, while Davis had 23 points. The Lakers will aim to bounce back when they travel to the Detroit Pistons next.
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