The elbow was fake but the ejection was not. Denver Nuggets guard Austin Rivers was thrown out in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers for faking an elbow towards guard Lance Stephenson.
Rivers was assessed a technical foul on the play, his second of the quarter — which equals an ejection. The veteran guard possessed the ball at the top of the key and, in an attempt to create more space between himself and Stephenson, acted like he was going to swing his elbow out, but didn’t.
Well it didn’t matter that his elbow never hit Stephenson, because he was called for a technical anyway. Here’s a look at how it all played out:
Officials ended up giving Rivers a technical foul following a video review of the play. Earlier in the quarter, Rivers and Stephenson had gotten into a shoving match, which resulted in his first technical foul.
“I’m cool with Lance doing all his extra stuff. He’s an irritant,” Rivers wrote on Instagram after the game. “Just don’t throw me out for trying to get him off of me. Especially when I didn’t even hit him or really try to. I wasn’t close.”
Rivers added on Twitter that the situation was “ridiculous.”
Nuggets head coach Michael Malone stated that he was told that officials deemed Rivers’ act “malicious” and added that he’d be discussing the situation with the league.
Rivers finished Wednesday’s game with just three points and three rebounds in 19 minutes before being ejected.The Nuggets won, 125-118.