Noel was ejected for taking a swing at Orlando's Jason Smith. Alex Goodlett USA Today

Early in the third quarter of the Sixers' loss to the Magic on Saturday, Nerlens Noel was ejected for what appeared to be a swing at the head of Jason Smith.

It was a retaliatory shot, after Noel caught a rough forearm to the chest from Smith just moments earlier.

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Noel said afterward that he didn't believe what he did was enough to get him tossed.

"I got hit in my ribs and tried to be the smartest player I could," Noel said. "I reacted, but I pulled away being a smart player and knowing my team needed me."

"I think it was a tough call," Noel said. "It didn't go the way I expected. But they get paid to do what they do. It was a tough call. . . . It just wasn't the call I was expecting."

The defeat dropped the Sixers to 0-6 on the season.