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Embiid calls Dudley ‘a nobody’ after 76ers-Nets altercation

For The Win logo For The Win 4/20/2019 Michelle R. Martinelli
a close up of Joel Embiid in a blue shirt: Getty © Getty Getty

The Philadelphia 76ers took a 3-1 series lead over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. This series has been filled with tension and trash-talking, and it boiled over Saturday during Game 4, which the Sixers won, 112-108.

What turned out to be a Flagrant 1 foul on Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid ignited a third-quarter scuffle between both teams and ended with Jimmy Butler and Jared Dudley getting ejected from the game for being escalators. In short, Embiid fouled Nets center Jarrett Allen, Dudley responded by shoving Embiid, and Butler reacted to that by forcefully pushing Dudley as the altercation spilled over onto the sideline.

But while everyone else was reacting, Embiid very noticeably put his hands up and walked away. After the win, Embiid was asked how he felt about Dudley getting in his face, and he said:

"First of all, he's a nobody. And, you know, when opponents try to do stuff like that, that's just to get us out of the game. I'm too valuable for my team. That's why I didn't react. I did not do anything, and I didn't think that was a flagrant foul because I played the ball too.

"But in that type of situation, I just gotta stay composed and be mature and let it go because my teammates, they need me more than they need him so, you know, I just gotta be mature."

Embiid was most likely not trying to knock his teammate for getting ejected but instead pointing out, as many fans did, that it's possible Dudley tried to escalate things to purposefully get at least one of Philadelphia's stars ejected. And it worked.

And clearly Embiid is incredibly valuable to his team. He finished with a game-high 31 points, 16 boards, seven assists and six blocks. Prior to the ejections, Butler had 11 points, four assists and four rebounds, and Dudley had eight points and five assists.

The incident Saturday followed a string of issues between the two teams this series. Dudley called 76ers' Ben Simmons "average" and the point guard responded with his own dig back. Embiid has also previously received another Flagrant 1 for elbowing Allen, and when he tried to apologize, he and Simmons ended up laughing about it.

After dropping the first game in the series, the 76ers have won the last three. Game 5 is Tuesday in Philadelphia.

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