Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff was not happy with the decision to allow Joel Embiid to stay on the court as the man widely tipped to win this season's NBA MVP award led the Philadelphia 76ers to their sixth-straight victory.
Embiid ended the night with 36 points and 18 rebounds as the Sixers won 118-109, but the controversy arrived in the fourth-quarter when he appeared to have committed his sixth foul of the game.
With just over four minutes remaining, Embiid was called for charging Evan Mobley, but Sixers coach Doc Rivers challenged the call, seeing it successfully overturned on review.
"It's clear as day that's a charge," Bickerstaff said after the game. "There's no doubt about it. The call was made on the floor.
"He stands between him and the basket. Evan laid it all out on the line. Guys ought to be rewarded for that. If you stick your nose in there and sacrifice your body, you should be rewarded for the correct play."
He added: "They said there wasn't enough contact to be a charge. I mean, there's a 300-pound man who bowls through your chest, it's a charge. It's that simple."
let em’ know…SIXERS WON!— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 16, 2023
Rivers still believed the overturn was the right call after his team secured the win, saying he thought Mobley had gone down too easily.
"I thought he flopped," Rivers said of Mobley. "I called that one right away. I didn't even look at my [replay] guy. I thought there was a good chance they would overturn it. I didn't think they would foul Joel out on that."
Embiid agreed, saying: "I thought it was a good call [to overturn]. I never extended my arm. Right before the hit, you could see he was already starting to flop.
"I watch basketball every day and I was pretty confident they would call it the other way."
The Sixers (46-22) remain third in the Eastern Conference, one spot ahead of the Cavs (44-28).