Lakers coach furious over players’ ejections
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Malcolm Brogdon delivered a hard foul to Nick Young, who shoved back. Greg Monroe then staggered Young with another shove, which got D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram involved — along with a Milwaukee Bucks security guard.
The third-quarter fracas ended with three ejections, and it left Los Angeles coach Luke Walton in a bad mood.
The drama also motivated the Lakers to make a surge, but the Bucks held on for a bumpy victory in their increasingly smooth playoff push.
Khris Middleton scored 14 of his season-high 30 points in the fourth quarter and the Bucks beat the Lakers 107-103 on Friday night for their eighth victory in nine games.
Monroe, Russell and Young were ejected after the scuffle with 36 seconds left in the third quarter. While Walton praised his players’ response and saw problems with nearly every decision made by the officials in the aftermath, Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd also was pleased by his team’s resilience.
“After things like that, there’s always a momentum swing, and it swung their way,” Kidd said. “The guys stayed the course. They kept playing, and we found a way to keep the lead and finish the game.”
Walton didn’t understand the officials’ decision to punish Russell with the same penalty received by Monroe, who delivered a fierce shove to Young’s neck area.
“D’Angelo only responded after Monroe had grabbed Nick by the neck and thrown him,” Walton said. “So if D’Angelo didn’t push him, I would have been (mad) at D’Angelo. He did the right thing. So for the NBA to say that the two of them did the same thing and just canceled each other out is absolute crap to me.”
Walton also was infuriated that the officials did nothing about a member of the Bucks’ security team who came onto the court and shoved Ingram during the exchange.
“If there’s nothing wrong with that, then I have no problem finding some people to hire on our staff (for the) next time we get in a skirmish,” Walton said. “The refs don’t say anything about that, and he puts his hands on one of our players. He works for them. He can touch (Milwaukee’s) players all he wants. Don’t touch my damn players. Because if that’s OK, I’m sure we can find a couple of people here in LA that want that job working for the Lakers, too.”