2018 NBA Finals: Warriors vs. Cavaliers
Reports: Kevin Love will not be suspended for leaving bench area in Game 1
From NBA Twitter and media reports
Cleveland and Golden State ended Game 1 of The Finals last night with a brief scuffle between the Cavs’ Tristan Thompson and the Warriors’ Draymond Green. The incident took place with five seconds left in the Warriors’ eventual 124-114 win.
Per Yahoo Sports’ Chris Mannix, the NBA will not suspend Cavs forward Kevin Love for leaving the bench in the closing seconds of that game:
The NBA will not suspend Kevin Love for leaving the bench area in the closing seconds of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, a league source told Yahoo Sports.
The league reviewed the play on Friday and determined that Love initially stepped on the floor to protest a foul call against Tristan Thompson. When an altercation between Thompson and Draymond Green broke out, Love immediately retreated to the bench area.
Love, who returned to the Cavaliers lineup after sitting out Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals while in the concussion protocol, posted 21 points and 13 rebounds in 39 minutes in Cleveland’s 124-114 Game 1 loss.
As the clock was winding down in Game 1, there were only 2.5 seconds left on the shot clock. Warriors guard Shaun Livingston took a midrange jumper and Thompson contested the shot. In doing so, Thompson appeared to connect with the right side of Livingston’s chest. Thompson was whistled for a Flagrant 2 foul, which warrants an automatic ejection.
After being ejected, Thompson and Green exchanged words and Thompson shoved the ball in Green’s face.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reports via Twitter that as of Friday afternoon the NBA is still reviewing Thompson’s actions at the end of Game 1. If a suspension is forthcoming for him, it will be announced later today.
The league is still reviewing Tristan Thompson’s actions at the end of Game 1. If a suspension is enforced on Thompson, it will be announced later on Friday, a league source tells ESPN.
According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Thompson was unsure about why he was being ejected:
“I contested a shot that shouldn’t have been taken,” Thompson said after the Warriors won 124-114 in overtime on Thursday. “I mean, it’s like the unspoken rule in the NBA: If you’re up 10 or 11 with about 20 seconds left, you don’t take that shot. I make the contest, and next thing I know, I was being kicked out for a good contest that we learn in training camp. I don’t know why I got thrown out.”
Green began taunting Thompson by waving goodbye. When the two forwards approached each other, Thompson had some words before ramming the ball into Green’s face.
“I didn’t hear him,” Thompson said, “but I heard him, and the rest is history.”
Prior to Thompson exiting the court, Love was seen walking onto the court as Brothers went to the scorers table to relay his ruling. Love was quickly summoned off the court by an assistant coach. By rule, a player who is not in the game at the time of a skirmish is not permitted on the court. However, Love said he was not worried about receiving disciplinary action from the league for the sequence.
Love told ESPN he was not worried about facing a potential suspension for Sunday’s Game 2 (8 ET, ABC). In an interview with NBA TV after Game 1, Livingston said he wasn’t trying to disrespect the Cavs with his late shot. He also didn’t think he was fouled flagrantly by Thompson.
“We don’t ever take the turnover. We finish the game out. That’s just how we play. That’s no disrespect to any team, whether its preseason or The Finals,” Livingston said. “Kevin [Durant] threw me the ball in my sweet spot and the clock was going down so I took the shot.
“I thought he was just trying to take the foul. And he got there late, kind of, and saw that I was going to shoot it. … It’s just competition.”