As the Milwaukee Bucks dribbled the clock out to secure a hard-fought victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night things suddenly took an unexpected turn. Seemingly out of nowhere, a scuffle broke out near midcourt as players from both teams, along with the referees, tried to separate the players in the middle of all the commotion.
Due to the unexpected nature of the shoving match, it was hard to catch much of it at first glance. With the help of replay review, we got a much better idea as to what happened.
The two players involved in the brief scuffle were Brook Lopez of the Bucks and Trey Lyles of the Kings. Lopez got in the face of Lyles following an unnecessary but relatively innocent foul in which Lyles reached in on Giannis Antetokounmpo.
There was no need for the reach by Lyles and no one was expecting it, which is likely why there was any reaction at all by players on the court. Once Lopez and Lyles got in each other’s faces there wasn’t much more than some shoving taking place.
Domantas Sabonis was in the thick of things trying to de-escalate the situation. His presence, along with the other players close and the referees on top of it made sure things couldn’t go too far in the heat of the moment.
Lopez was clearly upset as it was happening and in the following moments and Lyles also seemed displeased as he eventually walked away from the situation. The involvement of players on both teams, in terms of preventing things from escalating, could have been the reason we didn’t get to the point of punches being thrown.
That is good, considering the unnecessary nature of the entire scrum in the first place. Both teams are looking to maintain their hot play when the playoffs roll around and it is a lot easier to keep a rhythm going without any suspensions or lingering tension.
Kings coach Mike Brown kept it short and sweet regarding the small scuffle.
Kings and Bucks both 8-2 Post-All-Star Break
This evened up the records for both teams since the NBA all-star break. The Bucks and Kings are now tied for the best record in the NBA since the break at 8-2.
Giannis was far too much for the Kings to handle as he went off for 46 points and 12 rebounds. The inability to slow him down may have been a source of some of Lyles’ frustration late in the game.
De’Aaron Fox dropped 35 points of his own while Domantas Sabonis had a monster triple-double of 23 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists. The full box score can be found here.
Sacramento will be in Chicago to face the Bulls on Wednesday evening before they play the Brooklyn Nets the following night, which will be the second night of a road back-to-back.