After the Saturday night fireworks between the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers, it was only a matter of time before the league brought the hammer down, and the punishment came Monday afternoon. NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn announced that Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut and Portland Trail Blazers guard Mo Williams have each been suspended without pay for one game after fighting at Oracle Arena on Saturday. Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge earned a $45,000 fine, but no suspension, for his role in the altercation, while Portland shooting guard Wesley Matthews and Warriors forward Draymond Green each received $20,000 fines.
The donnybrook in question jumped off with 3:42 left in the third quarter of the Blazers’ 113-101 win over the Warriors on Saturday:
Bogut and Portland big man Joel Freeland got tangled up under the basket after the Blazers reserve had elbowed Bogut in the back under the basket on a Wesley Matthews jumper that cut the Warriors' lead to 79-71. Bogut lit the candle by swinging his right elbow at Freeland's jaw, which Williams didn't particularly appreciate; he rushed in and bumped Bogut, who responded by shoving the 6-foot-1-inch guard, leading to Mo reciprocating and eventually shoving the 7-foot Aussie's head with his left hand. As Mike Tokito of The Oregonian notes, Bogut and Williams "were teammates in Milwaukee for two seasons, playing under Blazers coach Terry Stotts in 2005-06 and 2006-07," but that didn't stop them from getting physical in the heat of the moment.
Aldridge and Matthews soon joined the fray, as did Green and Stephen Curry, who appeared to be trying to steer Bogut clear; a mass of players pushed and shoved along the baseline and toward the Warriors bench, where injured center Jermaine O'Neal, in street clothes, grabbed Williams and held him back. The officials eventually got the two sides separated, reviewed the scrum and decided on several in-game penalties — ejections for Williams (understandable) and Green (huh?), a technical but no ejection for Bogut (huh?), a second, disqualification-prompting tech for Matthews, and single T's for Freeland and Aldridge.
After the dust cleared, the Blazers promptly hammered the suddenly interior-defense-devoid Warriors, closing the third quarter with a 10-0 run that brought them within three points heading into the final frame, then holding Golden State to 35 percent shooting in the fourth en route to a 32-17 advantage over the final 12 minutes, a comfortable 12-point win and a 10th straight victory.
"That inspired us," Matthews said of the altercation, according to Michael Wagaman of the Associated Press. "We got better from it, we got stronger from it. Mo and I were continuing to cheer. They couldn't hear us, but we were continuing to cheer."
Williams, for his part, will have to continue to cheer from afar on Monday, when the Northwest Division-leading Blazers go for their 11th straight W at home against the reeling New York Knicks. Bogut's one-game siesta will come on Tuesday, Nov. 26, when the Warriors head east to visit the New Orleans Pelicans, and judging by his Twitter account, he's taking the news in stride:
Off to New Orleans, just had a work engagement cancelled tomorrow night, anyone free for dinner?
— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) November 25, 2013
I guess missing a game check isn't quite as dire a situation when you just inked a $36 million extension. (Speaking of which, I'm hoping that NOLA dinner's on you, Andrew.)
Video via Ben Golliver of The Point Forward.
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