OKLAHOMA CITY — An in any other case ho-hum blowout by the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Chicago Bulls grew to become all of a sudden tense Monday night time when a squabble spilled over into courtside followers and gamers and coaches tried to separate the groups.
It began with Russell Westbrook and Kris Dunn within the third quarter of the Thunder’s 121-96 win, as Westbrook and Dunn traded contact, to which Dunn responded with a shove. Thunder ahead Jerami Grant then ran over and confronted Dunn and Bulls massive males Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis arrived to interject. Lopez then evenly head-butted Grant as they spilled into the primary row of courtside seats, and Grant pulled Lopez down into the followers.
Bulls coach Jim Boylen, who had run throughout the courtroom, grabbed Grant across the neck and pulled him away. Thunder assistant coach Dave Bliss stepped in entrance of Lopez and separated him as Lopez struggled to achieve floor whereas pointing his finger and unleashing a scowl towards Grant and Steven Adams.
Paul George scored 16 of his game-high 24 factors within the last 5 minutes of the primary half and the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled to a 121-96 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night time.
The Thunder have picked up the choice on coach Billy Donovan’s contract for the 2019-20 season, the ultimate yr of his authentic five-year deal, the workforce stated.
“I am simply attempting to get folks out of the way in which,” Boylen stated. “I noticed [Grant] come throughout the courtroom and into the pile. I’ve nothing in opposition to Grant. I am simply attempting to get him out of the way in which. I may inform he was upset. I am simply attempting to assist, simply attempting to assist guys. There isn’t any … as a coach, you are form of searching for everyone. I have been in a pair of these earlier than and also you’re simply attempting to get folks away.”
Stated Grant, when requested if he had a problem with Boylen grabbing him: “Attempting to shield his workforce. Yeah. Just about it … it is a scuffle. Stuff goes to occur.”
It was an uncommon scene with the potential to escalate into a foul state of affairs, as Lopez was extremely agitated and aggressively going after Grant, all whereas being proper in entrance of the primary row of followers.
“It felt like I obtained twisted and flipped a bit of by somebody by that bench there,” Lopez stated. “I do not know. After that, one thing occurred.”
There have been 4 technicals assessed for the tussle, two to both sides — Westbrook and Grant, Dunn and Lopez.
“Man,” Westbrook stated when requested if he was stunned to obtain a technical. “Subsequent query.”
Westbrook recorded his seventh triple-double of the season with 13 factors, 16 rebounds and 11 assists however was not interested by discussing the incident.
“Subsequent query,” he stated when requested about his response to Boylen’s grabbing Grant.
Boylen, who not too long ago took over for Fred Hoiberg and made headlines along with his observe method and goal to reset the Bulls tradition, stated he appreciated to see his workforce not again down.
“That is all we have been speaking about is preventing for one another, and we speak about being a pack of wolves, man,” Boylen stated. “I assumed we had some of that. I appreciated the look in our guys’ eyes when that occurred. It bonded them a bit of bit. That is what we have been speaking about. These issues are going to come up once more, it occurs within the league. I feel we’ll be prepared for it subsequent time to deal with it even higher.”
Lopez finally was ejected a couple of minutes later after being known as for a foul and choosing up his second technical for rolling the ball at Grant, who had been knocked down.
“He wanted the ball to shoot the free throws,” Lopez stated. “I assumed the refs had accomplished sufficient, and I wished to alleviate some of their work. They’d an abnormally massive workload for the primary half of that quarter, and I wished to assist them out, ease their ache a bit of bit, ease their burden. And I assume not everybody noticed it the identical manner.”
Paul George led the Thunder with 24 factors and electrified with a 16-point second quarter that featured 6-of-6 capturing because the Thunder constructed a 20-point halftime lead. After the scuffle, the sport misplaced some move and George misplaced some rhythm, lacking all six of his photographs within the second half.
“It obtained a bit of chippy,” George stated. “However we saved rolling.”