Sacramento Kings coach Mike Brown put up a defiant defense of his players after he fired Brook Lopez and Trey Lyles from the Kings’ 133-124 defeat by the Milwaukee Bucks.
The California team, approaching its first postseason appearance in nearly 20 years, pulled off a Giannis Antetokounmpo dribble in the final seconds of the game, and power forward Lyles responded by shoving the star who started the fray.
Speaking after the game, however, Brown decided to take the opportunity to send a message to any NBA team looking to test their fledgling team in the playoffs. He said, “I don’t know what happened. But don’t take anything from nobody.”
“Believe me on that. They will have each other’s back there.”
The Browns had just seen the Bucks snap their team’s three-game winning streak in front of their raucous home crowd. The defeat saw the Kings drop to third place in the Western Conference standings, but there were few in the front office or in the stands who could have predicted such a high position at this point in the season.
After Monday night’s skirmishes that saw Lyles and Lopez confront and grab each other before both were ejected, the Bucks maintain their position in the Summit East with the best record in the NBA.
Antetokounmpo scored 46 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while teammate Khris Middleton added 31 points and nine assists. Dearon Fox scored 35 points for Sacramento, and teammate Domantas Sabonis added the double-star for the 10th time of the season with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists.
“It’s unfortunate,” Mike Bodenholzer said after the game about the incident. “I think it was a great game. I’m very impressed with Sacramento and the way they play. I won’t say anything about what happened or didn’t happen.”
The Kings are now embarking on a three-game road trip in the Eastern Conference where they will meet the Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards before watching this historic campaign with their final 12 game on the West Coast.
Their spot in the playoffs is pretty much guaranteed and they have a real chance of securing the second seed which would give them court advantage for at least the first three rounds of the post-season.
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