With 1:27 left in the first quarter of the Celtics’ 111-103 Game 3 playoff win over the Hawks on Friday, Boston point guard Isaiah Thomas and Atlanta Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder both received technical fouls for getting involved in an altercation.
Video showed Thomas swiping Schroder in the face as the two ran downcourt moments earlier. Schroder then appeared to push Thomas to the ground on a foul, and Jared Sullinger had to restrain Thomas.
Thomas said he was not concerned about being disciplined by the league for hitting Schroder.
“I didn’t mean to hit him in the head,” he said. “So he got mad. He was talking. But it’s playoff basketball. That’s what it’s about. I’m not gonna back down from anybody and he knows that.”
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, though, said he believes the league will review the play.
“The league does a good job on all things like this, and they have high standards and all teams are aware of their emphasis during the playoffs,” he said. “As far as an explanation, there wasn’t an explanation. There was a double technical and there was no review of the incident in the backcourt at the free throw line.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Schroder said a referee apologized for not seeing the incident when it happened.
“I’m not going to let nobody slap me in my face,” Schroder told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I told (Thomas) that. If you want to play like that, we’ll play like that. I was mad.”
After the game, Schroder posted a reaction on Twitter but then deleted it.
Watch the play in question below: