The NBA Finals have been chippy through all of its games, and it continued in the second quarter of Game 5 between David West and Tristan Thompson.
There had been plenty of scuffles through the first four games of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, so it’s not surprising that Game 5 had some battling in the second quarter.
After a Kyrie Irving miss late in the first half for the Cavaliers, Warriors forward David West grabbed the rebound and looked as if everything was normal. Irving, in a true hustle play, came right at West after the rebound, and forced a jump-ball with a perfect effort.
West took exception to the battle he and Irving had for the ball, and as the whistles blew on the play calling for the jump, West added an extra shove to Irving in frustration.
Defending his Cavaliers teammate, Tristan Thompson came in and went nose-to-nose with West, getting right in his face to avoid anything happening to his team’s star point guard. As Thompson and West jarred with each other, J.R. Smith came in with some added heroics, shoving West to defend Irving.
West was hit with a technical foul for the shove, and Thompson and Smith each got a tech of their own for the incident.
The fight comes just one game after Zaza Pachulia and Iman Shumpert got into a brawl on the ground in Game 4, and LeBron James and Kevin Durant got into a war of words as well in that game. At this point, any animosity is to be expected, but it still made Game 5’s battle interesting to say the least.
The Cavaliers and Irving ended up winning the tip-off after the technical free throws, so in the end, Irving’s effort was all worth it and ended in a LeBron three-pointer.