Cavaliers Big Man Kevin Love Won’t Be Suspended for Entering Court During Game 1 Scuffle
The frustration was mounting for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the overtime period of Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Had JR Smith not completely bungled the final play of regulation, Cleveland could have potentially taken an unlikely 1-0 series lead over the Golden State Warriors, but overtime was forced instead and the Cavs collapsed. The Warriors outscored them 17-7, ultimately leading to a final score of 124-114, but the game wasn’t exactly over in the final seconds of overtime.
The Cavs players on the court at the end of the game seemed to take exception to Warriors guard Shaun Livingston pulling up for a jump shot with just a few seconds left so as to not draw a shot clock violation. Cavs center Tristan Thompson went up to contest the shot, but was given a flagrant 2 foul after a referee decreed that Thompson sent an unwarranted elbow into Livingston’s chest. The call was extremely controversial, as it was unclear to most of us whether or not there was even contact, let alone intentionally malicious contact. Thompson was then tossed from the game and visibly upset.
After the game, Thompson said, “I contested a shot that shouldn’t have been taken. 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.”
A fight broke out following the call when Warriors forward Draymond Green approached Thompson, clapping his hands. Thompson then shoved the ball into Green’s face and players on both teams started scuffling. The fight only lasted a few seconds and nobody was hurt, but Cavaliers big man Kevin Love was facing potential consequences for his role.
When the skirmish began, Love rushed onto the court from the bench. While he didn’t throw any punches himself, a player who leaves his team’s bench and goes onto the court when a fight has broken out is subject to suspension. This would be a huge blow to the Cavaliers, as Love looks to play a big part in whether or not his team has success.
Luckily for Cleveland, the NBA has announced that they will not be serving Love a suspension. Whether or not this is due to the fact that he was only briefly on the floor before being pulled in by coaches is unclear, but it’s a relief to a Cavaliers team which needs him in the game if they’re going to come back after going down 1-0 following Game 1. As of this writing, no word has been released on whether or not Thompson will face a suspension.
Game 2 of the NBA Finals will be played on Wednesday, June 6 at 9:00 pm EST, and you can check it out on ABC.
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