Until Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls owned the Toronto Raptors for reasons beyond all understanding. In the recent past, the Raptors have been the (much) better basketball team but, for whatever reason, the Bulls have dominated on-court match-ups against Toronto in compiling 11 consecutive victories. On this night, however, some of that frustration appeared to boil over, as Toronto big man Serge Ibaka and Chicago big man Robin Lopez got into a scuffle that included haymakers being thrown in both directions.
The incident occurred with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter and, after a lengthy review, both Ibaka and Lopez were ejected from the game. At the time, the Bulls led by a shocking score of 88-72 on the road in Toronto and the incident seemed to stem from an awkward box-out during a converted basket from Chicago’s Jimmy Butler.
In the arena, there was an audible rise in intensity that was evident even from the ESPN broadcast and those in attendance felt it.