Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley and Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton got into an altercation during Tuesday night’s game.
The heat turned on at the Footprint Center late in the fourth quarter. With approximately 3:55 remaining in the game, Beverley was ejected for shoving Ayton following a foul called on Devin Booker against Austin Reaves which was assessed a flagrant foul-1 upon review. Booker then fouled.
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The Suns won the game 115-105 and no one apologized after the game.
Booker said he didn’t like it when Beverley ran in and pushed Ayton to the ground out of nowhere.
“I would have a lot more respect if I shoved him in the chest when the guy was facing him,” Booker said after the game.
Beverley said she was defending her teammate.
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“I have one person on the ground, two people looking above average, mugging and puffing their chests and the refs don’t get in to separate it, control the game, so I’m going to defend my teammate.”, he said, via ESPN.
“I’m not going for that s—. Obviously, it’s unfortunate that it happened on national TV. But you know me: regardless of what’s going on, I’m a big fan of protecting my teammates… I’m a trench guy. I put on the jersey and I commit to a team, I commit to a city, and it’s like my motto. I’m a trench guy. It’s a very unfortunate situation though.”
Lakers coach Darvin Ham also defended Beverley.
“From what I saw, Ayton was standing there ready to go over (Reaves),” Ham said. “I’m not mad at (Beverley). He’s out there protecting his teammate and I’m sure he’s going to have to go through some kind of consequence for that, but that’s what we have to be. Teams need to know they just can’t “. push us”.
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The Lakers fell to 5-11 with the loss and the Suns improved to 11-6.
Associated Press contributed to this report.