PJ Tucker was ejected from Game 3 after headbutting Dennis Schroder in the back of his head. Schroder himself was ejected for escalation.
With 6:51 left in the 3rd quarter and the score 67-49 in favour of the Houston Rockets, James Harden was being guarded by Dennis Schroder. He navigated a screen by PJ Tucker and had gotten inside the 3-point line when a flop by Dennis Schroder and a response from PJ Tucker drew attention away from the ball.
How did PJ Tucker and Dennis Schroder end up ejected?
PJ Tucker took offense to Dennis Schroder trying to instigate the officials to call a foul. In the replays, it could be seen that Tucker’s screen was a legitimate one, not a moving screen as Schroder was attempting to show. Schroder embellished the contact and went to the floor, and Tucker himself went down so as not to be outdone.
The replays also show that Schroder might have held Tucker’s groin, thereby instigating him further.
The refs have given a Flagrant 2 to ejected Dennis Schroder for this.
PJ Tucker was given a technical and ejected. pic.twitter.com/iqaZbbDIJl
— (@BoomtownHoops) August 30, 2020
Tucker’s hotheadedness might have cost the Rockets the game if they didn’t have a sizeable lead already. He’s their best interior defender and rebounder, and his presence allows them to switch everything on defense.
Dennis Schroder’s ejection, on the other hand, actually hurt the Thunder even more than Tucker’s ejection hurt the Rockets. Schroder had been the Thunder’s highest scorer on the night till that point and was the only one able to shoot efficiently from the perimeter.
The Thunder’s offense stalled after Schroder’s ejection and the game slipped away even further from them in the rest of the quarter as they ended down 91-67.