Your Los Angeles Lakers battled valiantly against the Phoenix Suns Tuesday, but ultimately could not keep their win streak alive, falling at the Footprint Center 115-105.
Well, there was one moment where the two clubs battled, and it was anything but valiantly.
After Austin Reaves was fouled while going up for a rebound against Devin Booker, the All-Star Phoenix shooting guard stepped over him, Allen Iverson-over-Tyronn Lue-stlye, before starting Suns center Deandre Ayton stepped in front of a still-flattened Reaves, giving him a full glare.
Starting Los Angeles point guard Patrick Beverley, exasperated by what he felt was inaction by the referees in deescalating the Suns’ treatment of Reaves, decided instead to really, really escalate things.
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Beverley shoved Ayton, still standing over Reaves, from behind. Ayton tripped over Reaves and toppled onto the ground, and suddenly the Suns and Lakers were at each other’s throats. The Suns were leading by 10 with 3:55 remaining in the fourth quarter, so there’s a (pretty good) chance Beverley was also frustrated with the game being seemingly just a bit out of reach.
When the dust had settled, game officials gave both Beverley and Ayton technical fouls for their behavior. Beverley was also ejected. Having scored exactly zero points on two shot attempts in 29 minutes, missing Beverley the rest of the way wasn’t a huge loss. He did pull down 10 rebounds for LA, so there’s that.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Beverley discussed his expectations for retaliatory next steps from the NBA.
In response to a question about whether he anticipated that the NBA would penalize him for the act, Beverley said, “For sure.”
“Very unprofessional by myself,” Beverley (accurately) reflected of the cheap shot shove from behind. “Definitely could have reacted in a different way… So, yeah, I’m a big boy. I’ll take my lumps however they come.”
A fine seems likely. This writer is skeptical Beverley will actually be forced to miss games for the interaction.