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SPORTS

DeMar DeRozan, Dillon Brooks Ejected from Game after On-Court Scuffle in Houston

HOUSTON (AP) — Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan and Houston’s Dillon Brooks were both ejected after being involved in an on-court scrum in Thursday night’s game between the Bulls and the Rockets, which Houston won 127-117.

With 6:02 remaining in the third quarter and the Rockets leading 84-75, Jalen Green was bringing the ball up the court when DeRozan came off a screen and hip-checked him, which sent Green down to the court in pain.

“I think there was some contact on some drives, some fouls, previous calls that were not called,” Bulls interim coach Billy Donovan said. “Obviously, DeMar jumped off of that screen and fouled Green.”

Brooks took exception and immediately approached DeRozan, who had his back turned to him. DeRozan turned and looked to have elbowed Brooks in the chin, which caused the two to lock arms. Teammates tried to break it up.

“I didn’t love it being that he got elbowed,” Rockets coach Ime Udoka said of Brooks’ ejection. “He walked over and didn’t say anything crazy. But they say the rules are the guy that kind of instigates it to get it to that step after DeRozan did what he did, he got suspended because of that.”

Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green, right, goes down after getting hip checked for a flagrant foul by Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 21, 2024, in Houston. An ensuing scuffle after the foul between DeRozan and Rockets forward Dillon Brooks resulted in both being ejected. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

The scrum grew with team staff and security attempting to intervene. Torrey Craig got involved and he and Brooks fell to the ground after tripping over a security guard who had fallen.

After the scrum had been cleared the situation reviewed, the initial foul by DeRozan was ruled a flagrant foul 2 and he was ejected. Brooks was given a technical foul and ejected for his role.

“I don’t think DeMar’s intention was to get a flagrant 2, certainly it was fouling and of course flagrant 1 and they’re shooting a free throw,” Donovan said. “I don’t think that was ever his intention was to do that. I actually was a little surprised that it got elevated to a flagrant 2, personally.”

Udoka added about Brooks: “Had a great game, great impact, wish he didn’t get ejected but like I said I don’t mind him standing up for his guys.”

Brooks left the game at the time with a team-leading 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting for Houston, while DeRozan exited with 16 points on just 4-of-15 shooting in 23 minutes.

Crew Chief Curtis Blair spoke to the pool reporter after the game.

“DeRozan was assessed a flagrant foul penalty 2 because the contact was excessive and unnecessary,” Blair said. “Because Brooks escalated the situation, therefore he was given a technical foul and ejected.”


By JOSHUA KOCH Associated Press

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