“Beat L.A! Beat L.A.!”
The rivalry is real in Phoenix for the Suns and another chapter was written in Tuesday night’s 115-105 win that reached its apex when Patrick Beverley shoved Deandre Ayton late in the fourth quarter.
With Phoenix leading 106-96 with 3:55 left in the game, Devin Booker was called for a foul on Austin Reaves that was later upgraded to a Flagrant One. Booker hit Reaves in the face on the block attempt.
Reaves was on the ground with Booker and Ayton both standing over him. Then, Beverley ran over and pushed Ayton, who fell down backward over Reaves and out of bounds. Ayton got up and looked to go after Beverley.
The two didn’t get at each other, but Anthony Davis shoved Ayton, who dunked and stared at him on the previous play. Beverley was ejected after officials reviewed the play.
“Pat needs to stop pushing people in the back, man. Push them in the chest, that’s all I got to say,” Booker said of Beverley in an interview on the court after the game.
“It’s just happening too many times,” Suns coach Monty Williams said of the incident. “I think the league needs to take a look at those kinds of plays, it’s just unnecessary.”
After cooler heads prevailed, Williams said his team stayed composed.
“It was like, ‘Guys, let’s just win the game.’ Our guys got it back together,” he said. “We got a few stops and that allowed to get out in transition a little bit.”
Lakers coach Darvin Ham defended Beverley’s action.
“From what I saw Ayton was standing there ready to walk over (Reaves),” Ham said. “I am not mad at (Beverley). He is there protecting his teammate and I am sure he will have to go through some type of consequence for that but that is who we have to be. Teams have to know they just can’t push us around.”
Contributing: Associated Press