LOS ANGELES -- Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) was ejected from the Los Angeles Lakers' game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday after receiving a flagrant foul 2 for hitting James Harden in the head with his elbow.
World Peace threw down a dunk to draw the Lakers to within one, 48-47, with 1:39 remaining in the second quarter. As he made his way back up the court, World Peace started to beat his chest in celebration before striking Harden, who was behind him, in the back of the head with his left elbow, causing the Oklahoma City guard to fall to the floor.
Play was stopped for several minutes while the referees separated Lakers and Thunder players who were arguing and the flagrant 2 determination was only made after the collision was reviewed on a video monitor at center court.
World Peace appeared to plead to an official that his elbow was inadvertent and only a result of his chest-thumping celebration motion.
Harden did not return to the court in the second quarter, instead making his way to the locker room for evaluation. Harden was not on the Oklahoma City bench with his teammates when the second half began.
The NBA league office reviews every flagrant foul to determine if a suspension is warranted.
The Lakers have one game remaining in the regular season Thursday in Sacramento before the playoffs begin next weekend.