The Warriors opened up a 15-point second quarter lead after a hellacious 24-4 run that saw them push past the Cavaliers and take command of the game. However, right as the Warriors had reached their peak efficiency on offense and were in the process of running Cleveland out of the building, a fracas broke out after Kyrie Irving forced a jump ball with David West.
West took exception to being tied up by Irving and shoved him, then got up in Tristan Thompson’s face, while J.R. Smith jumped in to push West. The entire situation was wild, considering it didn’t seem as though Irving had done anything out of the ordinary for a guard tying up a big man.
Irving reached in and got all ball and held on for dear life as West tried to rip it away in order to force the jump ball. For whatever reason, West — who has long been one of the league’s most fiery players — wasn’t pleased and decided to let Irving and the rest of the Warriors know about it.
Thompson and Smith coming to Irving’s aide is understandable, but for Smith particularly, it was a bit silly to step in and bump West who was already engaged with Thompson going jaw-to-jaw. By doing so, Smith actually helped the Warriors out.
West, Thompson, and Smith were all hit with technicals for their troubles, meaning the Warriors actually got an extra point out of the matter by way of getting a technical free throw because the Cavs got two techs to only one for the Warirors. While it stopped Golden State’s momentum briefly and gave the Cavaliers a bit of a spark, the Warriors regained control pretty quickly and continued their offensive onslaught to take a 71-60 lead to the break.