Four players’ nights ended early in Thursday’s game between the Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz, and the confrontation at the center can be charitably described as an attempt at a Greco-Roman wrestling match.
The fun started with around four minutes left in the fourth quarter, when Pacers center Myles Turner blocked a lay-up from Rudy Gobert. Gobert was knocked off-balance by the contact, and decided to take Turner down with him by grabbing his shorts.
An incensed Turner shoved Gobert as the two got to their feet and began running down the floor. Gobert reacted by half-shoving, half-grabbing and the two basically just grappled from there. No punches were thrown, but players on both teams and the officials quickly moved in to break it up.
Look, no one involved in this is going to be mistaken for Nikola Jokic.
Turner and Gobert were obviously ejected for their troubles, as were Gobert’s teammates Joe Ingles and Donovan Mitchell. Ingles could be seen making contact with an official, then pushing away Turner, while Mitchell tried to keep the pseudo-brawl going as everyone returned to their benches.
“I was trying to understand what Donovan did [to get ejected]," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said after the game. "I didn’t see anything other than he didn’t calm down quick enough.”
With the Jazz down 104-92, those ejections basically put the game away. The Pacers eventually won 111-100. Neither team should expect to have its center available for its next game.