The Suns left the Staples Center on Tuesday night with a 114-104 victory over the Lakers, but Phoenix’s top scorer was not on the floor to celebrate the victory.
Just over seven minutes from the end of the third quarter of that game, All-Star guard Devin Booker was hit with back-to-back technical fouls, forcing him to make it to the locker room early. The eviction happened so quickly that even TNT’s Brian Anderson and Jim Jackson were initially confused as to why Booker was leaving court.
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Anderson revisited the room later on the show to provide viewers with a clearer picture of what happened.
“So LeBron [James] is soiled by [Deandre] Ayton. It is called by [referee] Tyler Ford, “said Anderson.” He immediately got T’s up Booker. Booker throws the ball to [officiating crew chief] Marc Davis then he gets a quick T by [referee] Justin Van Duyne, who throws him out. “
In a post-match interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Davis gave more details on the sequence of events:
McMenamin: Why was Devin Booker kicked out?
Davis: Booker received his first technical foul for continuing complaint, then he received his second technical foul, and as a rule was sent off, for directing foul language at a match official.
McMenamin: Why did Justin Van Duyne assess a second technical foul after Tyler Ford called the first and was already walking away from the game?
Davis: For directing foul language at a game official.
Suns coach Monty Williams told reporters during his post-match availability that he had not received any real-time explanation, but he also didn’t care because his team “had to move on. thing”.
“I saw talk. I saw coming and going, and to be honest with you, I didn’t need an explanation,” Williams said. “In order for us to be the team we need to be, maybe, we need to be able to handle these moments even when they’re not following us. And that’s what I had to do, move on and bring Cam Johnson into the game and move on to the next game. “
Phoenix held a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but managed to beat Los Angeles 28-21 in the final quarter without Booker to secure the victory. Booker finished with 17 points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals in 24 minutes.