SACRAMENTO – Sacramento Kings coach Mike Brown wasn’t sure what exactly happened in a skirmish between both teams toward the end of a 133-124 loss to the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night. But Brown had a message for any NBA team hoping to test his Kings as they close in on making the postseason for the first time since 2006.
“I don’t know what happened, but ain’t taking no sh– from nobody,” Brown said after the game. “Trust me on that. And they’re all going to have each other’s backs in there.”
Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo was slowly dribbling out the final seconds left in the game in front of Kings forward Trey Lyles. Several Kings said after the game that they took exception to Antetokounmpo’s slow and angled dribbling.
A frustrated Lyles tried to steal the ball from Antetokounmpo before shoving him with two hands with 15.1 seconds left. Unbeknownst to Antetokounmpo, Bucks center Brook Lopez approached Lyles face to face. Lyles responded by grabbing Lopez’s neck. Lopez following immediately by grabbing the back of Lyle’s head before referees, players, coaches and security from both teams quickly converged.
The situation settled down as the skirmish reached the scorer’s table, after an irate Lopez had to be calmed near halfcourt.
Lopez and Lyles were both ejected from the contest. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer also played it safe by taking Antetokounmpo out of the game.
The Bucks were up just 120-116 with 3:11 remaining before finishing the victory with a 13-6 run.
“It’s unfortunate,” Budenholzer said. “I think it was a great game. I was so impressed by Sacramento and the way they play. I’m not going to say anything about what did or didn’t happen.”
Said Kings guard De’Aaron Fox: “Giannis could just dribble the ball out. That’s all he had to do, and nothing would have happened.”
Antetokounmpo had a game-high 46 points, 12 rebounds and four assists while teammate Khris Middleton added 31 points and nine assists. Fox had a team-high 35 points for Sacramento while fellow All-Star Domantas Sabonis added his 10th triple-double of the season 23 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists.