76ers’ Joel Embiid and James Harden won’t be suspended over Game 3 flagrant fouls

Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden (1) leaves the court after being ejected for a flagrant foul during the second half of Game 3 against the Brooklyn Nets during the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs Thursday, April 20, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The NBA is taking no further action on the foul calls against Joel Embiid and James Harden. The Philadelphia 76ers are currently up three games to none in their series against the Brooklyn Nets, something that Joel Embiid was adamant about reminding Nets fans about.

With so much riding on the Sixers’ playoff performance this season, it’s easy to see why the big man would want to remind everyone about where they stand in the series. That being said, the team’s 102 – 97 victory over the Nets wasn’t without its own troubles for both of their most recognizable superstars.

The 76ers’ superstars Joel Embiid and James Harden were both involved in important foul calls. First, early in the first quarter, after a Nic Claxton alley-oop dunk, the Nets big man attempted to step over Embiid. In response, Joel Embiid appears to kick his leg upward between the legs of Nic Claxton. Claxton went down, and Joel was hit with a flagrant one that could have easily been a flagrant two.

Later in the night, James Harden was ejected near the end of the third quarter for a slight hit on Royce O’Neal while attempting to drive past the forward. While there was clear contact from Harden, the sudden flagrant two against Harden shocked nearly every 76ers fan watching the game. Harden was ejected with 21 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Harden would go on to later call the foul call “unacceptable.”

After the physicality that the series had been played with, it was shocking to see the whistles going off. While the fouls called against both Harden and Embiid were valid foul calls, it still doesn’t seem like the NBA knows when to call for a suspension (see: Draymond Green), a common foul (see: Royce O’Neil clocking Embiid in the face), or for flagrant fouls like Joel Embiid’s and James Harden’s.

Good news for the 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (21) celebrates with De’Anthony Melton (8) after the team’s win over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, April 20, 2023, in New York. The 76ers won 102-97. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Luckily for the 76ers, both Harden and Embiid will not serve any suspension, nor will Harden’s flagrant one be rescinded to a flagrant one like many initially thought it would.

The Philadelphia 76ers play the pivotal Game 4 against the Nets in Brooklyn on April 22, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. EST as they try to finish up the sweep.