For Sixers fans who stuck it out until the end of the Game 4 loss vs. the Raptors on Saturday, they got a treat after the final buzzer when the camera panned to a clapping Joel Embiid.
Embiid, who only went to the free throw line nine times in the defeat, seemed to be directing his golf claps at the referees quite sarcastically.
Joel giving the refs the golf clap pic.twitter.com/gs8O1pETdM— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 23, 2022
After the game, though, he defended his postgame actions.
“Like I was doing at the end of the game, they did a great job,” Embiid said to reporters in Toronto. “I admire the job that they did today. To me, it felt like they had one job coming in here tonight, and they got it done. So, congrats to them.”
Joel Embiid’s extended thoughts on his golf clap to the refs postgame.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) April 23, 2022
“Like I was doing at the end of the game, they did a great job. I admire the job that they did today. To me, it felt like they had one job coming in here tonight, and they got it done. So, congrats to them.” pic.twitter.com/x1s5yR6etW
In Saturday’s matchup, the Raptors took 35 free throws, compared to 25 for the Sixers. That was a far cry from the first three games of the series, with Philly taking 11 more FT in Game 1, 18 in Game 2 and just two more in Game 3.
The shoe was on the other foot today, with the Sixers being the team to express its frustration at the foul calls (or lack thereof). Through the first three games of the series, it was Raptors coach Nick Nurse who incessantly complained about the officiating.
Doc Rivers took the high road in the postgame press conference, crediting Toronto for their performance but not without taking a subtle jab at his counterpart:
"Give them some credit. They deserved to win the game tonight. I'm not going to sit here and complain, I'm not going to do what they do." pic.twitter.com/PCYOw5SHRd— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 23, 2022
It’ll be interesting to see how Game 5 is called back in Philly, and whether or not the officiating decides to call every ticky-tack foul (both ways).
For now? Just kick back, get ready for Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center, and hope the Sixers never get Scott Foster again.