Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen received a Flagrant Foul 2 and was ejected after he kicked Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul in the face while playing defense during Monday night’s 106-12 win.
Allen walked over to Paul at the foul line to apologize while the officials watched the replay to determine the severity of the foul, which occurred with 1:51 left in the opening quarter.
“I was just trying to make a play — leaving a great shooter like Jamal Crawford in the corner, knowing Chris Paul’s tendencies,” Allen said, per the Associated Press. “Chris sees everybody that’s open, and I accidentally kicked him. But I’m pretty sure he knows that it was accidental. That ain’t my style of play.
“I had to let him know that it wasn’t intentional. He understood that and he told me he knew it wasn’t. But the refs reviewed it, and it was a blow to the head. So that was the result — me getting kicked out. It was just unfortunate that I couldn’t help my team throughout the game. But they had my back and played hard throughout the game.”
Paul doesn’t believe the kick was intentional.
“I know Tony didn’t do it on purpose,” Paul said. “I went mute for a while, just because I hate being hit on the lip more than anything. I just hate having a busted lip. But I know it wasn’t intentional, and I didn’t expect him to get ejected. I think he thought I was about to throw the ball to the corner, so that’s a natural instinct.”