(Reuters) - New Orleans Pelicans' DeMarcus Cousins was ejected on Monday for striking Oklahoma City Russell Westbrook with an elbow.
Cousins secured a rebound during the third quarter and appeared to attempt to clear space with his right arm when he made contact with the NBA's reigning MVP Westbrook and sent him to the ground.
Westbrook remained on the court for a few moments but remained in the game.
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The officials reviewed the play and assessed a flagrant 2 foul to Cousins, who exited with 18 points and nine rebounds.
The Pelicans still managed to defeat the Thunder 114-107.
Cousins is having a spectacular start to the season and entered the game averaging more than 27 points and 13 rebounds.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)