Metta World Peace Ejected, Metta World Peace was ejected from the Los Angeles Lakers’ 114-106 double overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday after receiving a flagrant foul 2 for hitting James Harden in the head with his elbow.
World Peace threw down a dunk to draw the Lakers to within one, 48-47, with 1:39 remaining in the second quarter. As he made his way back up the court, World Peace started to beat his chest in celebration before striking Harden, who was behind him, in the back of the head with his left elbow, causing the Oklahoma City guard to fall to the floor.
Harden stayed down and play was stopped for several minutes while the referees separated Lakers and Thunder players who were arguing and the flagrant 2 determination was only made after the collision was reviewed on a video monitor at center court.
Harden, who had 14 points, did not return to the court in the second quarter. Harden was diagnosed with a concussion, according to the Thunder. He will fly back with the team to Oklahoma City and his status for the Thunder’s final two regular season games is uncertain.
Harden was the first player to leave Oklahoma City’s locker room after the game and did not address the media.
World Peace issued a statement to reporters in the locker room after the game, but did not entertain any questions.
“During that play I just dunked on (Kevin) Durant and (Serge) Ibaka and I got really emotional and excited and it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow,” World Peace said. “I hope he’s OK. The Thunder, they’re playing for a championship this year, so I hope that he’s OK and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden.