Late in the third quarter and with the Nets trailing by 19 points at home to the Pacers, frustration appeared to get the better of Paul Pierce.
As George Hill raced toward the other end for what appeared to be an easy fast break opportunity, Pierce chased him down to give a no-layup type of foul, but since he caught Hill in the head and then followed through by taking him down around the neck, the officials ruled it a flagrant-two, which comes with it an automatic ejection.
Pierce was obviously intending to commit the foul to prevent the uncontested basket, and maybe with things so out of hand in this one he wanted to send a message to his teammates that he wasn’t ready to quit no matter the score. He may also have simply had enough for one night, after personally going 0-for-7 from the field.
The league may see fit to downgrade this to a flagrant-one in the days that follow, but either way, the game was over and the foul was unnecessary. So, in the moment the officials made the decision, it was likely the correct call.
[via The Brooklyn Game]