NEW YORK — In the middle of the fourth quarter of the Milwaukee Bucks’ 120-119 overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, an exciting game took a frightening turn when Khris Middleton fouled Bruce Brown on a breakaway dunk. Middleton was assessed a flagrant-2 foul and ejected.
It happened after Giannis Antetokounmpo tried to drop off a pass to Jrue Holiday and Brown stole it, then took off the other way. Brown slowed down, Middleton caught up and Middleton fouled Brown in mid-air. Brown crashed to the ground in dangerous fashion, and, after a replay review, it was ruled a flagrant-2.
“I thought the Middleton play was risky,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “A guy has left his feet and you’re coming behind; if you grab the arm, that’s a very dangerous play. Unfortunate. I don’t think Khris is a dirty player at all, but that is a dangerous play.”
Brown said he saw Middleton behind him before he took off.
“I didn’t think he was gonna grab me out the air,” Brown said,” but it’s cool. It was just a hard foul. I’m good.”
After the foul, Brown remained in the game. He said that he feels “fine” and “just bruised a bone in my wrist.” Asked if it was a basketball play, Brown said, “It’s a hard foul. He wasn’t trying to — I mean, it’s an open dunk. I mean, I wouldn’t do it, but I don’t care. It’s fine.”
Kevin Durant was less diplomatic when it came to the foul that caused his own uncomfortable landing. Late in overtime, the Bucks’ Wesley Matthews fouled Durant on a corner 3, contesting the shot from the side and falling into Durant’s leg. Durant was awarded three free throws, but he said it wasn’t called a flagrant foul