June 01, 2018
In the final seconds of overtime of the wild Game 1 of the NBA Finals between Golden State and Cleveland on Thursday night, tempers flared, and that could potentially have an impact on Sunday's Game 2.
With the Warriors leading 122-114 and just three seconds remaining, Shaun Livingston took a jump shot as the shot clock expired, which Cavs big man Tristan Thompson felt was unnecessary. Thompson fouled Livingston and appeared to hit him in the head, according to referee Tony Brothers, resulting in a flagrant-2 foul and an ejection.
Before leaving the court upon his ejection, Thompson got into an altercation with Warriors forward Draymond Green, hitting him in the face with both his fist and the ball, and a skirmish ensued. Thompson then appeared to shout at Green to meet him in the back.
"I contested a shot that shouldn’t have been taken," Thompson said after the game. "I mean, it’s like the unspoken rule in the NBA: If you’re up by 10 or 11 with about 20 seconds left, you don’t take that shot."
Now comes the league's review process, where it will be decided if Thompson — or Cavs forward Kevin Love, who wasn't in the game at the time of the skirmish but walked a few steps onto the court — will receive any type of punishment.
Per league rules, "any player who throws a punch, whether it connects or not, has committed an unsportsmanlike act" and will be suspended for a minimum of one game.
Rules also state that "during an altercation, all players not participating in the game must remain in the immediate vicinity of their bench. Violators will be subject to suspension, without pay, for a minimum of one game and fined up to $50,000."
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