Justise Winslow on elbow from Isaiah Thomas: ‘It’s just part of the game’

MIAMI — Sunday’s loss left Justise Winslow in pain.

Winslow took an elbow to the face from Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas with 3:02 remaining in Sunday’s 105-95 loss to Boston. The 20-year-old Heat forward got up from the floor with blood dripping from under his right eye.

Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics elbows Justise Winslow #20 of the Miami Heat in the face for a flagrant two foul during the fourth quarter of the game at the American Airlines Arena on December 18, 2016 in Miami, Florida (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics elbows Justise Winslow #20 of the Miami Heat in the face for a flagrant two foul during the fourth quarter of the game at the American Airlines Arena on December 18, 2016 in Miami, Florida (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Thomas received a Flagrant 2 foul and was ejected for the elbow. Winslow received “four or five” stitches under his right eye after the game.

“I went out there and I didn’t want [Thomas] to shoot the three,” Winslow said of the play. “When I closed out I actually said ‘Not letting you shoot or drive the ball’ and he just swung through. It wasn’t excessive. He didn’t mean to hurt me. It was a basketball play. Heat of the moment. I said things. They said things. But no one is out there trying to hurt nobody. It’s just part of the game.”

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Thomas agrees and he didn’t feel like his elbow deserved a Flagrant 2 foul.

“It was just a regular basketball move that I do every game,” Thomas said “I just happened to connect. I mean, I don’t mess with no elbows. I’m far from a dirty player, so it sucks the NBA makes, I guess, those type of calls. … Maybe because they saw the blood, whatever it may be.”

The elbow did not keep Winslow out of the game. He played the entire fourth quarter and finished the game with eight points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Thomas recorded a team-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting before he was ejected with 3:02 left in the contest. With Boston leading 97-85 when he left the game, Thomas’ ejection didn’t end up costing the Celtics.

“They just go off, I guess what the office in wherever it’s at [Secaucus, N.J.] says what it is,” Thomas said. “Tony Brothers didn’t think it was a Flagrant 2, but he’s got to go off what they say, so I’m disappointed. I’m happy we won, but I’m disappointed that they kicked me out. There’s no reason for that.”

 

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