Three Players Ejected After Bench-Clearing Brawl In Magic-Pistons Game
An altercation between Orlando Magic center Moe Wagner and Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes led to a bench-clearing brawl during the teams’ Wednesday matchup. Three players were ejected and could face further disciplinary action in line with NBA protocol.
Things got heated between the Magic and Pistons ? pic.twitter.com/5IiZBoBZYx
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 29, 2022
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The fight occurred after a play late in the second quarter, when Wagner and Hayes were contesting a loose ball. Wagner made contact with Hayes and knocked him over out of bounds. Pistons player Hamidou Diallo then shoved Wagner, causing him to fall into the Pistons’ bench as well. While Wagner attempted to stand upright with the help of a Detroit player, Hayes struck him in the back of the head, disorienting him and potentially causing him to lose consciousness.
Players from both benches rushed to defend their teammates, escalating the dispute with further shoving and arguing. Officials eventually managed to regain control and went on to call a flagrant foul on Wagner and ejecting him, along with Hayes and Diallo.
This is not the first time Wagner has gotten into physical altercations with opponents. The center has previously frustrated Luka Doncic to the point that the Mavericks star had to be physically restrained by teammates in a game last season. Bucks star Giannis Antentokounmpo was also ejected from a game in 2020 for head-butting Wagner.
After the game, Pistons head coach Dwane Casey argued that the referees did not properly punish Magic players for running onto the floor.
“I need an explanation about the decision because my understanding is you can’t leave the bench area and escalate a situation,” Casey told reporters.
Based on longstanding NBA protocols, physical altercations during games typically result in longterm disciplinary action, including suspensions and fines up to $50,000. All three ejected players could be subject to similar rulings, as well as any other players who are found guilty of a violation in hindsight in the league’s review.
The Pistons went on to defeat the Magic 121-101 and were already in control of the game before the fight occurred. Neither team is likely to reach the postseason this year, as they both dwell at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. The Magic are 13th with a 13-23 record while the Pistons are 15th and last with a 9-28 record.
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