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Durant: Refs Made Correct Call on Flagrant Foul, Ejection

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Kevin Durant was called for a flagrant foul 2 and was ejected in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 119-108 Game 4 win over the Dallas Mavericks, his first career postseason ejection and second career ejection.

With 50.6 seconds left, Durant bit on a pump fake by rookie Justin Anderson and swiped at the ball as Anderson went into his shooting motion. Durant’s forearm hit Anderson in the face, and after review, Durant was tagged with a flagrant 2, which leads to an automatic ejection.

“I wasn’t trying to hurt him,” Durant said after the game. “Plenty of plays this season where I blocked shots like that from behind. Just unfortunate I fouled him over the head. It was a flagrant, even though I wasn’t trying to intentionally foul him. The refs had to make a decision and they made the right one. It was just bad timing. I wasn’t trying to hurt him.”

Source: Royce Young of ESPN

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Agent: Gordon Hayward Unlikely to Return this Season Following Surgery

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Celtics All-Star forward Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return during the 2017-18 season, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Hayward underwent surgery to repair a dislocated left ankle and a fractured tibia in Boston on Wednesday night, a procedure that Bartelstein labeled a success.

“We expect him to make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form,” Bartelstein said.

Source: ESPN

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Ben Simmons on NBA Debut: ‘It felt like I was playing 2K’

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Ben Simmons finally made his long-awaited NBA regular-season debut against the Wizards in Washington on Wednesday night. And after his extended wait to wear the Philadelphia 76ers jersey in a meaningful game, he said he felt initially like he was in a video game.

“It felt like I was playing 2K, honestly,” Simmons said postgame.

“Just looking at Joel Embiid out there with the lights on his jersey. I was like, ‘man, I’m actually here.'”

Simmons was drafted with the first overall pick by the Sixers in the 2016 draft, but he missed the entire 2016-17 season while recovering from foot surgery to repair a Jones fracture. He suffered the injury on Sept. 30, 2016, less than a month before the start of the regular season. The Australian was originally expected to miss three months, but was eventually ruled out for the entire season.

Source: Nick Metallinos of ESPN

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Sources: Nuggets Release Jameer Nelson

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Sources: Veteran point guard Jameer Nelson has been released by Denver, clears free agency waivers Friday.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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