The Cavs and Raptors are no longer really a rivalry now that LeBron James is in Los Angeles, but that didn’t keep things from getting hostile in Cleveland on Monday night in a game that surprisingly saw the Cavs lead by a healthy margin for most of the proceedings.
With just one second to play in the third quarter, the Raptors tried a long inbound pass to Serge Ibaka, who got tangled up with Marquese Chriss and went to the floor. No foul was called, but Chriss looked down at Ibaka and said something to him, which set the big man off as he charged Chriss, choking him into the stanchion.
Chriss and Ibaka both threw punches at each other, luckily with neither landing solidly, and they were separated quickly and ushered to their respective benches.
Both players were ejected from the game, and you can be assured a hefty fine and suspension is coming at least for Ibaka for initiating the physical altercation, and likely a smaller one for Chriss for his actions.
It was a strange moment because no one really saw it coming and there didn’t seem to be all that much in it, but whatever Chriss said clearly crossed a line and Ibaka was not going to let it slide. We’ll await the league’s response on Tuesday, but more punishment is surely on the way.