Even without LeBron James there to consistently break the hearts of the Raptors, the rivalry between Cleveland and Toronto appears to be alive and well.
With the Raptors struggling against the young Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on Monday night, the team attempted to run a play with only one second remaining on the clock in the third quarter. Down 91-77 and inbounding the ball from their own end, a long pass by Toronto’s Norman Powell was sent down the floor in search of Serge Ibaka who was battling for position with Cleveland’s Marquese Chriss.
That’s when it all went down.
Serge Ibaka was ready to throw down 😳
Both players were ejected after punches were thrown 🥊
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) March 12, 2019
It appears that Chriss said something to Ibaka while he was on the floor and it was that comment that set the 29-year-old power forward off.
He went after the third-year pro, threw him into the stanchion and attempted to land a few punches before others jumped in to restrain the two.
Both players were ejected from the game.
The Cavaliers went on to win 126-101 and boost their record to 17-50 in the process. The Raptors, meanwhile, fell to 48-20.
“We certainly don’t want that in the game,” said Toronto’s head coach Nick Nurse following the loss, according to TSN’s Josh Lewenberg. “It’s going to cost him a game, probably… We don’t want to lose one of our guys for incidents like that.
Believing that Ibaka will only be lost for one game may be wishful thinking, though. His history in regard to these types of ‘incidents’ isn’t going to work in his favour when he’s disciplined by the league.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks speculates that his suspension will likely be between three and five games and cost him $149,000 for every contest missed.
Subscribe to ‘Inside the Green Room’ with Danny Green
More NBA coverage from Yahoo Sports