A fight during an NBA game stole the headlines for the second night in a row.
Friday night, Minnesota Timberwolves protect Austin Rivers and Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba traded blows in the third quarter before the brawl spilled onto the court, resulting in five players being ejected from the game.
The altercation began when Rivers approached Bamba, who was sitting on the bench in orlando – since the ball was in play at the other end of the court.
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Bamba got up from the bench before both players fought. Magic guard Jalen Suggs pulled Rivers from Bamba as multiple players got involved in the scrum.
Orlando’s Suggs and Bamba were ejected, while Rivers, Jaden McDaniels and Minnesota’s Taurean Prince were ejected from the game.
After the game, Rivers said that Bamba had been talking trash from the bench on previous plays, leading to the 11 year old guard approaching him during the play.
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«I’m not going to rat on the guy or whatever, but I just didn’t like the way he talked to me,» Rivers said after the game. «For no reason, too. I don’t even know that guy. I don’t know anything about him. Obviously, I just know that he’s a magic player. And he proceeded to talk, so the next possession, when I went down there, I just kind of said, ‘Just be respectful, bro.'»
«After I went up to him and put pressure on him, someone stands up like this, gets in your face, that can go one of two ways,» Rivers continued. «He threw a punch and missed. And then someone, Suggs, grabbed me by the neck. That’s what bothered me the most. That’s the only thing that hurts me right now.»
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Bamba and Suggs were not available to speak to the media after the game.
«I never want to get into a situation where I throw my hands up, or get taken out of a game and into a fight that leads to something like that,» Rivers said. «You end up feeling embarrassed afterwards. This is not a cool moment for me. I feel embarrassed. I’m the oldest on the team. I consider myself the leader of the team, or one of the leaders of the team. It was a weird game, and I don’t think that «It didn’t help at all. Anyway, right now, I’m mad that we lost and that I had (something) to do with it. It makes me feel good.»
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On Thursday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell and the Memphis Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks were ejected in the third quarter after Mitchell took a shot to the groin from Brooks.
The NBA fined Mitchell on Friday and suspended Brooks for one game without pay.
Associated Press contributed to this report.