Indiana center Roy Hibbert said he expects to be suspended for his role in a skirmish against the Golden State Warriors that spilled over into the seats under the basket and onto fans Tuesday night in Indianapolis.
Hibbert was ejected and four other players received technical fouls in the skirmish that started when Hibbert and the Warriors’ David Lee got into a shoving match. Lee, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of Golden State and Pacers forward David West received technicals in the Indiana 108-97 win.
It began when Lee and Hibbert exchanged shoves under the basket after a missed shot with 6:10 remaining. The 5-foot-10 Curry tried to push the 7-foot-1 Hibbert, who easily flung the smaller man to the floor.
No players left the bench. Hibbert said he believes he will face a suspension.
“Seriously, I didn’t even feel him,” Hibbert said of Curry. “I saw some light-skinned guy. I don’t know if it was Klay Thompson or Steph Curry, I just knew there was a light-skinned guy by me.”
Curry scored a season-high 38 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Warriors saw their three-game winning streak end. The Pacers built a 95-85 lead midway through the fourth quarter, and not even the scuffle shook them up as they ended a three-game skid against Western Conference teams.
“There were two or three guys coming after [Hibbert],” said West, who led the Pacers with 28 points. “We preach and talk about togetherness, so that’s part of what we’re going to do. We’re going to defend one another. They came after him too many times.”
“It was just physical play,” Curry said. “Teams are gearing up for playoff basketball and amping up the intensity a little bit.”