PHILADELPHIA – Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe was sent off within three minutes of Thursday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers after an aggressive game of catch with Sixers center Joel Embiid.
At the 2:36 mark of the first quarter, Embiid and Bledsoe became entangled, and Embiid broke free of him with a little push in Bledsoe. Taking offense to that, Bledsoe responded with a shove of his own on Embiid's back.
Embiid casually responded by throwing the ball to Bledsoe, who at this point was about 10 or 15 feet away. Bledsoe responded by badping the ball right in Embiid's chest, hitting him right in the center and bouncing before he had a chance to react. The ball ended up landing next to Sixers striker Mike Scott, who proceeded to throw it directly to Embiid when players from both teams met quickly.
After a brief review, the officials gave their badessment: a technical fault for Embiid and Scott, and two, and with it an automatic expulsion, for Bledsoe.
When the party crowd applauded the news violently and Bledsoe left the court and returned to the Milwaukee locker room, Embiid, who was at the other end of the court with his right hand on his head, greeted Bledsoe as he walked away with his left.
Milwaukee entered the game on Thursday night and needed a win to gain an advantage on the home court in the NBA playoffs, while the magic number of Philadelphia to reach the third place in the East is currently two. A victory on Thursday, however, would mean that Philadelphia can not finish below the fourth.