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Patrick Beverley’s cheap shot by Devin Booker and Charles Barkley

During the final minutes of the final quarter of last night’s 115-105 Phoenix Suns win over the Los Angeles Lakers, things came to a boiling point for one relatively harmless game.

Lakers starting shooting guard Austin Revis made a rebound against All-NBA Suns guard Devin Booker, with 3:55 left in regulation and the game looking to be in hand for Phoenix. Booker pushed Reeves to the ground and got the ball. He was whistled for a blunt 1, and went up hard on Reaves.

Suns center Deandre Ayton, in the midst of a 14-point, 15-rebound final night, slid into Reaves and stood over him.

Los Angeles starting point (for now) Patrick Beverly objected to this behavior, and made sure Ayton knew about it. As you can see in the clip below, Beverly bumped into Ayton, pushing him full force from behind to send him spiraling. This obviously got both the Lakers and Suns hot and bothered, and many players were soon restrained from getting into an all-out brawl on the floor.

Beverly’s post-game behavior on TNT’s broadcast has been criticized by a pair of Suns all the time, past and present.

Booker placed this Pearl of Wisdom on TNT’s Chris Haynes after the win, during which he scored 25 points. “It [needs] to stop rushing people in the back man,” Booker said. Push them in the chest. Sure, shoving a guy from behind is a bit cheap, so Booker has a salient point.

Per Dave McMenamin of ESPN’s Beverly replied, “I’m not going back and forth with all that” when he was made aware of Booker’s quote.

“Obviously, very unprofessional, it shouldn’t have happened, first of all,” Beverley said in addressing the assembled media about the packages. “But I’m a big fan of protecting my teammates. Especially my teammates who I go to war every night. I kind of felt like the play got out of control after being stared down by Austin Reeves by Puck, then stared back down by Ayton. And the umpires didn’t come. Really and they kind of broke it up. You know I wouldn’t go that far.”

Charles Barkley joked that Beverley was in line for a knockout, as this backhand hit joins other similar moments earlier in Beverley’s career against the Suns, such as when he shoved Chris Paul from behind during the 2021 playoffs.

Beverley has done very little this season in terms of on-field performance. He’s a decent defender, and so is Austin Reeves. And Austin Reeves can actually score. As far as we know, he has yet to engage in this kind of goofy behavior. He or a newly healthy Dennis Schroeder should start from the point.

Smith

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