Even with Kawhi Leonard back in the lineup, the best fight Toronto put up in Cleveland was when Serge Ibaka threw a punch at Marquese Chriss.
Ibaka and Chriss were ejected for fighting during the Cavaliers’ 126-101 victory over the Raptors on Monday night.
Leonard scored 25 points after sitting out Sunday’s game, but the team with the league’s second-best record trailed most of the way.
Collin Sexton scored 28 points and Kevin Love had 16 points and 18 rebounds for Cleveland, which dominated the second half and seemed to gain momentum after the fight with a second left in the third quarter.
Ibaka went to the floor after he and Chriss were fighting for position under Cleveland’s basket as the Raptors attempted a full-court pass that sailed out of bounds.
Ibaka shoved Chriss from behind and grabbed near his neck before throwing a punch. Chriss responded with a punch before players from both teams separated the two.
Ibaka immediately headed for the locker room and both players were ejected after the officials conferred.
Photo: Photo By Jason Miller/Getty Images / Getty Images
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“I saw it out of the corner of my eye,” Love said. “It happened so fast. Everybody almost wants to run out there and check what’s going on. It was broken up quick. That’s usually how it goes.”
A Raptors spokesman said Ibaka was reacting to something Chriss said to him after the Toronto player was knocked to the floor.
Rockets 118, Hornets 106: James Harden scored 28 points and Eric Gordon added 22 as host Houston cruised to its season-high ninth straight win. A night after Gordon ended a streak of 43 games in which Harden led the team in scoring, the Beard was Houston’s top scorer again. Gordon had another strong outing, making five 3-pointers for the third straight game and the fourth time in five games.
Clippers 140, Celtics 115: Lou Williams scored 34 points and became the NBA’s career leader in points off the bench as host Los Angeles beat Boston for its fifth straight win. Williams came into the game needing 28 points to pass Dell Curry, who had 11,147 points when not starting. Williams surpassed Curry with 9:53 remaining in the fourth quarter with a driving layup.
Wizards 121, Kings 115: Bradley Beal scored 21 of his 27 points after halftime, helping host Washington beat Sacramento despite twice giving back double-digit leads. Beal added nine rebounds and nine assists for the 11th-place Wizards, who moved 3½ games back of the eighth Eastern Conference playoff spot held by idle Miami.
Thunder 98, Jazz 89: Dennis Schroder scored 24 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists, and visiting Oklahoma City beat Utah to sweep the season series. Westbrook appeared to argue with fans of the Jazz, who knocked the Thunder out of the postseason last year.
Nets 103, Pistons 75: Spencer Dinwiddie scored 19 points and Brooklyn routed visiting Detroit to move into sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Cal alum Allen Crabbe finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Rodions Kurucs scored 13 points, and Joe Harris and Caris LeVert each added 12 for the Nets.
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