NBA: Five ejected in Magic-T'Wolves brawl, Suns shock Celtics

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 04 2023 01:23 PM

Austin Rivers #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball during the game against the Orlando Magic on February 3, 2023 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. David Sherman, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP
Austin Rivers #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball during the game against the Orlando Magic on February 3, 2023 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. David Sherman, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

LOS ANGELES -- 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.

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.

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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 Devin 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.

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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.

"I just want to give a shout-out to the bench," Bridges said in an on-court television interview. "They won us that game. They came out in that fourth, set that tone before we (the starters) came back in."

Chris Paul added 15 points for the Suns, Dario Saric and Deandre Ayton had 14 apiece, and Damion Lee added 11 off the bench.

- Simons leads Blazers -

The Portland Trail Blazers shook off a slow start that saw them trailing by 20 in the first quarter to beat the Washington Wizards 124-116.

Anfernee Simons scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter -- when he made six of his nine three-pointers to help the Blazers grab the lead.

Damian Lillard added 29 points for Portland who ended the Wizards' six-game winning streak.

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The Indiana Pacers bounced back from a tough, one-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday with a 107-104 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

The Pacers snapped a four-game losing streak, but not before their 19-point lead in the third quarter dwindled to one midway through the fourth.

Buddy Hield scored 21 points for the Pacers against his former team, draining a three-pointer after Sacramento had cut the deficit to one midway through the fourth quarter.

Hield also pulled down 10 rebounds, including a rebound of his own miss in the final minute that helped preserve the lead.

Harrison Barnes scored 23 points to lead Sacramento and Domantas Sabonis, playing in Indianapolis for the first time since he was traded to the Kings last February for Hield and Tyrese Haliburton, scored 15.

Philadelphia center Joel Embiid scored 33 points with 10 rebounds in the 76ers' 137-125 victory over the Spurs in San Antonio.

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