BOSTON (CBS) — A late-game ejected meant Isaiah Thomas had to watch the closing minutes of the Celtics’ 105-95 win over the Miami Heat from the locker room on Sunday. The NBA admitted that decision was a mistake on Tuesday.
Following a lengthy review by officials, Thomas was assessed a flagrant-2 foul after elbowing Miami forward Justice Winslow with 3:02 left in Sunday’s game. The C’s guard was ejected, the rule whenever a player is assessed a flagrant-2, and the Heat were able to trim Boston’s 12-point lead down to four points before the C’s pulled out the victory.
The league downgraded Thomas’ foul to a flagrant-1 on Tuesday, according to the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett.
Had the officials gotten the call right on the floor, Thomas wouldn’t have been ejected. It’s good for Thomas that the call has since been downgraded (and corrected), but the Celtics probably would have preferred to have their leading scorer on the floor to close Sunday’s win.
“[The NBA] did as they should. I didn’t anything intentional,” Thomas told reporters in Memphis on Tuesday.
Thomas led the way for Boston with 23 points in his 28 minutes of play against Miami.