Bulls' Robin Lopez Suspended 1 Game For Fight With Raptors' Serge Ibaka
- Author: Lawrence Cooper Mar 23, 2017,
Mar 23, 2017, 1:46
Angry words were sent back and forth, punches were thrown, and eventually, Lopez and Ibaka were both ejected from the game.
The biggest flashpoint in the NBA Tuesday night came, improbably, at the Air Canada Centre, where the 41-29 Raptors were taking on a struggling Bulls squad.
DeRozan set a franchise record with 38 shot attempts, making 17, and also finished with eight assists. "I know basketball is sometimes physical, we can talk trash, push each other, but punching like that, there's no room because I want to play basketball, I don't want to get suspended". San Antonio scored 35 points off of 23 turnovers by Minnesota and held off a fourth-quarter rally from the Wolves. Ibaka nudged Lopez with an elbow and Lopez retaliating by swiping the ball out of Ibaka's hands during a dead play. "Who knows. I'm pulling for Ibaka, though". "Way to show fight, Serge", Jonas Valanciunas said, barely able to get the sentence out without breaking into laughter, during Ibaka's breakdown of what he saw. Ibaka walked over to P.J. Tucker's locker post-game (Tucker is on the end, close to the exit, while Ibaka is more centrally-located) and they had a long discussion about suspensions, with Tucker telling him he'd get some time off for sure, while Ibaka defended himself.
Each team missed potential game-winners, sending the game to overtime.
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"I pulled guys together right after that, (after) Serge just got thrown out", Tucker said.
It was the Lopez altercation, however, that took center stage, especially if they are without him for a few crucial games. We can't put too many guys in too many places and positions on the floor, because they're not used to it. "Here's a team that kicked our butts the last 11 games".
Down 88-72 at the time of the second-half scuffle, the Raptors went on to even up the score and force overtime. DeRozan hit one of two free throws with nine seconds left for a five-point lead.
Thanks to a 19-4 run over the final 6:39 of regulation, the raptors overcame a 15-point deficit to send the game into overtime, finally ending their 11-game losing streak to the Bulls in that extra stanza, 122-120.