Raptors' Ibaka, Cavaliers' Chriss get heated and throw punches


National Basketball Association referee Tony Brothers tries to break up a fight between Cleveland Cavaliers forward Marquese Chriss and Toronto Raptors centre Serge Ibaka in the third quarter of a game at Quicken Loans Arena on Monday night in Cleveland.

Even though the Cleveland Cavaliers used an explosive second half to thrash the Toronto Raptors 126-101 on Monday night, much of the talk centered elsewhere. The fall seemed to be a harmless one initially, but then Ibaka got to his feet and rushed towards Chriss, to shove him in the back, before holding his neck and throwing down a punch.

Ibaka and Chriss collided while going for a full-court pass near the Raptors' basket.

The duo had it coming, as Ibaka had fallen down hard from a push from Chriss in the second quarter.

Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 25 points and nine rebounds. With Ibaka on the ground, Chriss made a remark to him and began walking away. Both players were ejected.

Kyle Lowry scored 14 points for the Raptors. Toronto fell behind by 10 points and committed 11 turnovers leading to 13 points for the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers play Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

The Raptors, showing signs of being exhausted in their third straight road game, struggled throughout the game. The Washington product has averaged 7.9 points per game in three National Basketball Association seasons.

Ibaka already has prior incidents in his record, getting into physical altercations with Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez in 2017 and Miami Heat forward James Johnson a year ago - both taking place in recent memory, making him a repeat offender. That kind of balance is obviously not going to happen in most games, but it was still nice to see the Cavaliers move the ball really well, both when it came to starters' minutes and the bench.