Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley and Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton got into an altercation during Tuesday night’s game.
The heat was turned up at the Footprint Center late in the fourth quarter. With about 3:55 left in the game, Beverley was ejected for shoving Ayton following a foul called on Devin Booker against Austin Reaves that was assessed as a flagrant-1 foul after review. Booker later fouled out.
The Suns won the game 115-105 and no one was apologizing after the game.
Booker said he did not like that Beverley rushed over and pushed Ayton to the ground out of the blue.
“I would have a lot more respect if he just pushed him in the chest when the guy was facing him,” Booker said after the game.
Beverley said he was defending his teammate.
“Got a person on the ground, two people looking over mean-mugging and puffing their chest out and referees don’t get into it to kind of separate it, control the game, so I’m going to stand up for 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 foxhole guy. I put on the jersey, and I commit to a team, I commit to a city, and it’s kind of my motto. I’m a foxhole guy. Very unfortunate situation, though.”
Lakers coach Darvin Ham defended Beverley as well.
“From what I saw Ayton was standing there ready to walk over (Reaves),” Ham said. “I am not mad at (Beverley). He is there protecting his teammate and I am sure he will have to go through some type of consequence for that but that is who we have to be. Teams have to know they just can’t push us around.”
The Lakers fell to 5-11 with the loss and the Suns improved to 11-6.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.