Hornets rookie Brandon Miller ejected for elbowing Sixers star Tyrese Maxey in the face

Charlotte Hornets rookie and No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller was ejected from the team’s 109-98 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday after elbowing Tyrese Maxey in the face. While there’s no question that Miller made contact with Maxey, whether he deserved to be tossed is still up for debate.

Late in the second quarter, Miller was operating in the corner with Maxey defending. As the Sixers guard applied all sorts of pressure, Miller tried to make a move to escape. In the process, his right elbow came up and caught Maxey square in the nose. Maxey immediately collapsed to the ground, and the nearest official whistled Miller for an offensive foul.

Brandon Miller was ejected from the game for this foul that the refs called a flagrant 2 foul. pic.twitter.com/iPnlqiow6q

— Bally Sports: Hornets (@HornetsOnBally) March 17, 2024
Due to the severity of the contact, the refs went to the monitor to review the incident. They eventually decided to upgrade the foul to a Flagrant 2 on Miller, which results in an automatic ejection. Miller left the game with six points and two rebounds.

Many, including the Hornets’ broadcast, felt the decision was harsh and that Miller did not deserve the first ejection of his career. Maxey, who joked that he’s going to take up UFC, also defended the rookie and said that he didn’t think Miller elbowed him on purpose.

Maxey was left with a sore and bloody nose, but that was the extent of his injuries, which was great news for him and the Sixers. He recently missed four games while dealing with a concussion and doesn’t need any more hits to the head. Likewise, the Sixers don’t need any more injuries with Joel Embiid already out indefinitely.

Despite the minor setback on Saturday, Maxey ended up playing over 40 minutes in the game and finished with 30 points, three rebounds and four assists to get the Sixers a much-needed win. Now 37-30 on the season, they are locked in a tight battle with the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat for the sixth and final automatic playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. After the win, the Sixers are all alone in seventh place, half a game behind the Pacers and half a game ahead of the Heat.

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