Indiana's 108-90 home win over Toronto on Tuesday night was marked by a clash between Pacers' Lance Stephenson and DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors, with 3.3 seconds left in the competition.
The party shook when moods opened between Stephenson and DeRozan after the Raptors 'guard challenged Stephenson's plate at the end of the Pacers' runaway victory over their Eastern Conference rivals.
Stephenson was faced by DeRozan and several other Raptors players after he set the tray just before time expired - instead of clinging to the ball and walking on the ground - which seemed to break one of the cardinal rules of basketball. The skirmish spilled down the sideline and into the Pacers bench where PJ Tucker from Toronto was still jawing with the Pacers players as coaches tried to separate the players.
DeRozan told reporters after the bent that the play was "disrespectful to the game." Tucker called the play "classless" and "tasteless".
"I did not mean any harm," he said. "The crowd was singing to me, and I just wanted to do it for the fans."
|DeMar DeRozan, right, said that Lance Stephenson's decision to make a layup with 3.3 seconds to go, instead of running out of time, was "disrespectful to the game." Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports|
"Lance knows best," he said. "It's a fundamental rule not to put the ball when you're up, but it did, and that's the reason Lance is Lance.
Stephenson, Tucker and DeRozan received technical fouls.
Stephenson, who played in his first home game since signing again with Indiana last week, finished with 12 points to help the Pacers recover from a 19-point deficit in the first half.
"I almost cried," Stephenson said of the applause he heard when he went to the scorer's table late in the first quarter. "But my main objective was to try to win the game. I'm happy to have won the game."