Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young was ejected from Saturday's 143-130 win over the Indiana Pacers for heaving the ball at a referee in the middle of the third quarter.
Young had just been called for an offensive foul that led to a game-tying 3-pointer from Tyrese Haliburton, resulting in a timeout by Atlanta. A visibly frustrated Young first bounced the ball and then threw a two-handed hard pass at referee Scott Wall, who caught the ball.
Young was assessed his 15th technical foul of the season and ejected. One more technical foul would have Young facing an automatic one-game suspension.
"It's just a play he can't make," Hawks coach Quin Snyder said after the game. "I told him that. He knows it."
Snyder said Young acknowledged his mistake.
"There wasn't a single part of him that tried to rationalize what happened," Snyder said.
The Hawks managed to rally in Young's absence, and the win improves Atlanta to 37-37 on the season to keep hold of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
"We didn't allow it to turn into a negative," Hawks guard Dejounte Murray said of Young's ejection. "We turned it into a positive and got the win."
Young finished the game with 14 points and five assists in 21 minutes.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.