Officials ejected Houston forward P.J. Tucker after he argued over a foul call in the third quarter against the Miami Heat.
Down 86-79 with 3:30 left in the period, Tucker retaliated after Heat guard Goran Dragic pulled at his head. The Rocket forward was assessed with an offensive foul, which wiped out a Gerald Green triple that would have cut the deficit to 4.
Tucker appealed to referee Tony Brothers, who assessed him with a technical foul. When an argument broke out, Tucker was tossed. James Harden tried to hold him back but to no avail.
This is a still of the original Dragic head pull, courtesy of Ben Nance of Houston Sports Addict.
Tucker left the court with just 6 points. He scores at a 7.8-point clip, nailing over 37 percent of his attempts behind the arc. He has yet to eclipse a double-digit average for a whole year, with the closest coming with his 9.4-point output in 2013-14 for Phoenix.
This is not the first time Tucker has been ejected. Three years ago, he hit the floor with Blake Griffin, a Los Angeles Clipper at the time, and proceeded to punch the All-Star.
Tucker was with the Phoenix Suns at the time. After a short stint with the Toronto Raptors in 2017, he signed a 4-year, $32 million contract with Houston.
The Rockets ended up prevailing 121-118 to move to 37-25 on the year. They remain a No. 5 seed for now. Meanwhile, the Heat fell to 27-34 and a full game out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Harden Scores 58 to Propel the Win
The main highlight was Harden, who tallied 58 points on 16-of-32 shooting (plus a perfect 18-for-18 at the line). He saw his streak of 30-point games broken on Monday against the Atlanta Hawks, but more than made up for it by scoring his second-highest total of 2019.
He set a career-high with 61 points against the New York Knicks on Jan. 23.
The 10-year veteran is averaging 36.2 points per game, nearly 6 points over his season-high average set last year. He’s posting a remarkable 53.8 effective field goal percentage, which includes 53 percent on twos and over 36 percent on threes.