NBA stars trade punches in wild exchange
IT got hot in Cleveland. Raptors forward Serge Ibaka and Cavaliers forward Marquese Chriss were ejected at the end of the third quarter in Tuesday's match-up after tempers flared.
Ibaka took exception to Chriss' defence as they battled for an inbounds pass with one second left on the clock. Ibaka got up from the floor and went after Chriss, putting his hands around Chriss' throat before they began throwing punches.
While the fight was broken up quickly, both players earned a trip to the locker room to cool things down. Ibaka had hit the court hard in the second quarter after being fouled by Chriss after scoring on a rebound.
Ibaka and Chriss out here throwing punches 😳 pic.twitter.com/NwRhL6Apw4— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) 12 March 2019
Cleveland had the last laugh, cruising to a 126-101 blowout of the Eastern Conference contenders as Collin Sexton scored 28 points and Kevin Love had 16 points and 18 rebounds.
Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points after sitting out Sunday's victory in Miami, but his return didn't help the Raptors, who have the league's second-best record.
Cedi Osman scored 19 points and Ante Zizic had 17 for Cleveland, which placed six players in double figures.
Leonard was 11 of 19 from the field, but the Raptors only led briefly in the first half. Cleveland was ahead for most of the half and outscored Toronto 32-22 in the third quarter.
Cleveland took command in the fourth and went ahead 108-88 midway through the period. The Cavaliers build the lead to 27 points late in the game.
Kyle Lowry scored 14 points for the Raptors. Toronto (48-20) trails Milwaukee by 2 1/2 games for the best record in the league.
Toronto rolled to a 125-104 win over the Heat without Leonard, tying a franchise record with 21 3-pointers and outscoring Miami 63-24 from beyond the arc.
Leonard, averaging 27.1 points going into the game, hasn't appeared in more than two consecutive games since playing in five straight from January 25 through February 5.
The Raptors, showing signs of being tired in their third straight road game, struggled throughout the game. Toronto fell behind by 10 points and committed 11 turnovers leading to 13 points for the Cavaliers.
Cleveland coach Larry Drew said before the game Love, who hasn't played in back-to-back games since returning from foot surgery, will sit out Tuesday in Philadelphia.
- with AP