LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Five players were tossed from Orlando’s win at Minnesota on Friday as the second NBA brawl in as many days overshadowed Phoenix’s upset of the league-leading Boston Celtics.
Pacers 107, Kings 104
Pintons 118, Hornets 112
Blazers 124, Wizards 116
Suns 106, Celtics 94
Magic 127, T-Wolves 120
76ers 137, Spurs 125
Raptors 117, Rockets 111 Hawks 115, Jazz 108
The wild scenes in Minneapolis erupted in the third quarter in front of the Orlando bench with an exchange between Orlando’s Mo Bamba and Minnesota’s Austin Rivers.
Bamba, Orlando’s 2.13-meter tall center, left his seat and traded punches with Rivers, sparking a scrum that had security trying to separate players.
It ended with Bamba and Rivers ejected along with Orlando point guard Jalen Suggs and Minnesota’s Taurean Prince and Jaden McDaniels.
The incident came a day after Memphis’ Dillon Brooks and Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell were tossed from a game after a shoving match that followed Brooks’s blow to Mitchell’s groin.
Earlier on Friday the NBA suspended Brooks for one game for sparking the confrontation and fined Mitchell $20,000 for his incensed reaction.
The Magic, who were leading 83-73 when hostilities erupted with 1:32 left in the third, went on to win 127-120, led by 20 points from reserve point guard Cole Anthony.
Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards had a quiet night with 17 points on just four-of-13 shooting.
In Boston, the absence of injured Devin Booker and Cam Johnson was no hindrance to the Suns, who bounced back from a blowout loss to Atlanta to beat the Celtics, 106-94.
With Johnson and Booker sidelined by injury, the Suns looked unlikely to turn the tide two days after a 32-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
But the Celtics, the owners of the best record in the league and the second-ranked scoring team, were held to less than 100 points at home for the first time since December.
Jaylen Brown scored 27 points for Boston, but Jayson Tatum scored just 20 on dismal three-for-15 shooting as the Celtics connected on just 38.7 percent of their shots from the floor.
Phoenix, led by 25 points from Mikal Bridges, led by as many as 20 in the second quarter and were up 57-44 at halftime.
Robert Williams’s jump shot to end the third cut the deficit to one point but Phoenix, with their second unit on the floor to open the fourth, used an 8-0 scoring run to rebuild their lead.
Chris Paul added 15 points for the Suns, Dario Saric and Deandre Ayton had 14 apiece, and Damion Lee added 11 off the bench.