David Vs. Goliath Part 2 In Celtics-Sixers Game 4: Joel Embiid Says Terry Rozier ‘Tried To Punch Me Twice’

The Philadelphia 76ers survive Game 4 against Boston, but not without controversy.

Rozier-Embiid scuffle in Game 4
Mitchell Leff / Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers survive Game 4 against Boston, but not without controversy.

The Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers became more intense in Game 4 when Joel Embiid and Terry Rozier got involved in an on-court altercation. The incident happened in the second quarter when Rozier received an offensive foul. Embiid tried to take the ball, but the Celtics point guard hesitated to give it away.

Despite the huge difference in height and weight, Terry Rozier said that he wasn’t intimated at all by Joel Embiid. After being separated by other players, Embiid and Rozier earned technical fouls. In a post-game interview, Embiid gave some details on what happened and said that Rozier tried to punch him, twice.

“He kept the ball away from me and tried to punch me twice,” Embiid said, via USA Today Sports. “Too bad he’s so short that he couldn’t get to my face.”

It was not the only incident in Game 4 where Joel Embiid was involved. Late in the third quarter, Embiid had a heated exchange with Celtics power forward Marcus Morris. Though Morris didn’t verbally respond to Embiid, he was caught raising his three fingers and then held up his fist to remind the Sixers center that they were down 3-0 in the series. Before that happened, Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens and Jaylen Brown were also seen arguing with the officials.

Fans should expect to see more of those kinds of scenes after the Sixers prevented themselves from being swept in the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a 103-92 win over the Celtics. Boston may have found a way to limit Embiid’s production, but he still managed to finish with a double-double, 15 points and 13 rebounds, in Game 4.

Ben Simmons, who posted 19 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists, revealed that he texted Joel Embiid before the game to talk about winning Game 4 to extend the series with the Celtics. If the Sixers beat the Celtics in the next three games, they will make history as the first NBA team to overcome a 3-0 deficit. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who just swept the Toronto Raptors, are already waiting for the winner between the Sixers and the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

In the upcoming game, Sixers Head Coach Brett Brown revealed that he plans to keep guard T.J. McConnell in the starting lineup, according to Ian Begley of ESPN. McConnell has been a huge help for the Sixers since replacing Robert Covington in Game 4. In the 39 minutes he played on Monday night, he finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, and five assists while shooting 75 percent from the field and 1-of-1 from the three-point range.

Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup between the Sixers and the Celtics will be on Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston.