The Tuesday match has added fuel to the flaming rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns.
With less than four minutes left in the regulation, Austin Reaves tried to cut the Suns’ lead to a single digit, but he met a hit from Devin Booker’s hands. Falling hard and holding his face, Deandre Ayton perceived his reaction as an exaggeration – in which he approached and taunted the Lakers wingman.
Patrick Beverley, for his part, didn’t back down on what his teammate Reaves had received, as he charged and gave a hard body check on Ayton to the back.
Beverley was eventually ejected, with Booker and Ayton taking a Flagrant 1 and Technical Foul from the officials, respectively.
Following the match wherein the Suns managed to firmly grasp their edge to take the 115-105 win, Booker directly hurled a shot against Beverley for shoving Ayton.
“It was more than it was supposed to be. Pat needs to stop pushing people in the back, man. Push them in the chest. That’s all I got to say.”
The action made by Beverley isn’t an uncommon one for Booker and the rest of the Phoenix camp. Way back in their 2021 Western Conference Finals encounter wherein the veteran guard was still a member of the L.A. Clippers, Beverley controversially pushed Chris Paul from the back out of frustration, with the Suns nearing to close out the series in order to advance to their third NBA Finals in history.
Without Paul, Booker propelled the Suns with his 25 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Ayton contributed with 14 points and 15 boards.
For the Lakers, Anthony Davis’ historic night went on to become a losing effort, feasting with 37 points, 21 boards, five steals, and five blocks. Beverley went scoreless, but grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out two dimes in 29 minutes.
The Lakers and Suns will face again in Phoenix on December 19. With what happened last night, it is interesting to see what will continue to unfold in the two team’s intensifying bad blood.