Mozdeco and Trinise Jean. James T. Vaillant-Brooklyn Daily Eagle via Getty Images
LeBron James shoved Pacers guard Lance Stephenson onto the scorer’s table after Stevenson and Tristan Thompson grabbed the ball away from James late in the third quarter of the Cavaliers-Pacers game on Monday night, and the incident led to an on-court altercation between Stevenson and the Cavaliers star.
The incident happened after James was fouled hard by Stephenson near midcourt in response to James hitting Stephenson after a late shot attempt. James returned the favor and Stevenson continued to trash talk with James over the play, until James lost his temper. Stevenson did the same.
Video shows that Stevenson took an elbow to the face from James, which prompted the league’s reigning Most Valuable Player to jab Stevenson with his forearm, instigating the on-court scrum that included both James and Pacers guard Bojan Bogdanovic. As James began aggressively arguing with Stephenson in the referee’s face, Bogdanovic pushed James, prompting a scuffle between the two players.
The two were ejected during the fourth quarter of a game that went to overtime. James led the Cavs with 36 points in the contest, and the team won 118-116.
James could not contain his anger after the game:
Game 4 of our series against Indiana and they made a play, a late score in the 3rd quarter, and Lance comes and just goes bananas — LeBron James (@KingJames) March 6, 2018
Despite all of the excitement, the Pacers dominated the first half of the game, building a 10-point lead, before going into halftime with a 76-73 advantage. Cleveland bounced back in the second half to establish an 11-point lead, but the Pacers were not willing to give up, and eventually fell by 2 points.
Indiana leads the series 2-1. Game 4 is in Indianapolis on Wednesday.