In the least surprising news of the NBA Finals, Zaza Pachulia was involved in a contentious incident. And in the second-least surprising news, he might have made a dirty play.
Pachulia and Kyle Korver scrapped for a loose ball late in the third quarter, and as Iman Shumpert joined the fray, referees whistled the play dead and called a jump ball. Unfortunately for Shumpert — and his groin area — that left him standing over Pachulia. Pachulia appeared to punch out at Shumpert at least once, and possibly twice:
— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) June 10, 2017
The verdict, after an extensive review by the officials? No ejections. Double technicals, which canceled each other out, and a jump ball. Though it might not have been the most questionable officiating decision of the night, it was right up there.
But the scuffle and the review weren’t all that happened. During the lengthy stoppage, a sideshow arose when Matt Barnes started jawing with a courtside fan:
Cavs fan gets into it with Warriors players pic.twitter.com/9fWzEdEVBH
— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) June 10, 2017
Matt Barnes just got into it with Todd Leebow, a friend of Rich Paul (LeBron attended his wedding) and Leebow was removed by security
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 10, 2017
While it was all happening, Draymond Green, of all people, was just chilling on the bench:
Earlier in the quarter, LeBron James and Kevin Durant got into a war of words:
The Cavs used a record-setting offensive performance to get their first win of the Finals, 137-116, and cut their series deficit to 3-1. The Pachulia-Shumpert incident will be one of the many talking points between now and Monday’s Game 5 in Oakland.
More NBA Finals coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Cavs score NBA Finals-record 49 in a quarter
• LeBron pulls off ridiculous alley-oop to himself
• Referee error leads to confusing DraymondGreen non-ejection
• Steve Kerr turn on the sarcasm: ‘Players are less talented’