Bulls' Lopez, Raptors' Ibaka ejected after trading punches

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Punches were thrown as a brawl broke out on the court between Bulls and Raptors players with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter of Toronto’s 122-120, overtime win over Chicago on Tuesday night.
The heated exchange erupted when Raptors center Serge Ibaka grabbed the ball and threw an elbow near the back of Bulls center Robin Lopez after a made 3-pointer and Lopez fell backward into Ibaka and took a swipe at the ball. Ibaka appeared to shove Lopez, and Lopez threw a punch at and missed Ibaka, who retaliated by taking a swing at Lopez, barely connecting with the head of the Chicago center.
Ibaka and Lopez continued to go at each other, which led to several other players and assistant coaches from each bench joining the fray.
The two players continued to lob harsh words at each other and were separated by teammates.
Both players were ejected for fighting following a long review.
Lopez said he felt he “had three guys on me” as he jockeyed for position under the basket and was simply reacting to being pulled back and it “just kind of hit the flash point.”
“It felt like nobody had any hold on [Ibaka],” Lopez said. “And he just kept coming at me with his arm. And I was just trying to get him off me.”
Lopez said he expects to be suspended for his role in the brawl.
Chicago forward Nikola Mirotic and Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire received offsetting technical fouls after getting into a shoving match following the melee.
“I like the fight, but we have to be smarter than that,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said during the telecast.
Lopez’s twin brother, Brook, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets, said he had heard even before he beat Detroit at the buzzer Tuesday about what happened in Toronto.
“Well, the Lopez twins were just both doing what we do tonight,” Brook Lopez said.
“He was doing his dirty job … and I was playing real basketball.”
Brook Lopez added that “maybe we’ll get a grudge match. Who knows. I’m pulling for Ibaka, though.” (www.espn.com)

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