Raptors' Serge Ibaka, Bulls' Robin Lopez suspended one game each for skirmish
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 02, 2017,
Apr 02, 2017, 4:02
"I'm pulling for Ibaka, though", Lopez said with a chuckle. "We started to push each other like always happens when there's contact and then he threw the punch. 'It's just knowing that the ball is going to get swung", said DeMar DeRozan, who scored 22 points and was 1-for-2 in 3-pointers Sunday despite not playing in the fourth quarter of the one-sided game.
Joffrey Lauvergne took his turn in the starting lineup, performing admirably with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes and keeping Drummond occupied, his best game since being traded to Chicago at the deadline. 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.
Butler had 37 points and 10 rebounds to lead Chicago (33-38). That's the way we have to play and continue. No player wants to see their wallet so negatively impacted and that's one of the main reasons there has been little to no serious altercations in the last ten years.
The Bulls stretched a five-point halftime lead to a 15-point advantage after three quarters.
Fred VanVleet cut the lead to two points with a layup as the home crowd roared the Raptors on. It was Chicago's first loss to Toronto since December 31, 2013. The Bulls' center took the first shot, and Ibaka responded.
Punches, actual closed-fist punches don't get thrown around in today's National Basketball Association, so even with minimal contact there is going to be some form of suspension.
The game went to overtime with the scores locked at 113-113 before DeRozan hit a jumper to help Toronto into a 117-115 lead. Patrick Patterson's layup put Toronto ahead by four with 44.7 seconds in overtime. Quietly, the organization was bracing for a three-game ban but hoping for two, so one is a dreame scenario. "I'm pulling for Ibaka, though".
Except for Butler, Chicago's wing players bring no physicality to the game, and nearly none of the other skills that help small ball teams succeed.
"I've heard about it through multiple people", he said. "He just kept coming at me; I was just trying to get him off me", he added.
Tucker talked about how strong Ibaka is and how hard it was to hold him back after the fight to make sure he didn't get into any more trouble. The last high-profile incident that involved an actual punch being thrown came in Game 6 of the 2014 first-round playoff series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies.
The third quarter ended with the Bulls leading 94-79. "From start to finish, I thought it was a solid contribution offensively and defensively", Casey said.