Darvin Ham Wants Lakers To Be ‘Tough’ But Within Rules After Incident Between Patrick Beverley & Suns’ Deandre Ayton
Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic

The matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns got heated on Tuesday, leading to Patrick Beverley’s ejection late in the fourth quarter.

The scuffle started with Devin Booker accidentally hitting Austin Reaves in the face as the second-year Lakers guard attempted a layup with 3:56 left on the clock in the fourth quarter. After Reaves fell to the ground, Deandre Ayton came over and stared over him, provoking Beverley to intervene.

In the heat of the moment, Beverley pushed Ayton in the back with the Suns center stumbling over Reaves and then joining him on the floor. After the game, the 34-year-old guard explained he felt like he needed to protect his teammate, although admitted to overreacting in the situation.

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham came to Beverley’s defense, saying he wants his teammates to have each other’s back, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“I played in this league, and we played on some tough, tough teams — guys that would have each other’s back. And you want to play tough, things get chippy at times, people chirp. It is what it is. I mean, you want to play within the rules and stay within the rules. But if someone challenges you, and they’re challenging your teammate… How would that look? They knock Austin down and walk over him, and no one comes over to do anything or no one comes over to help him up, or rally around him and, you know, that would look terrible. So, it is what it is. And we try to play as legal as possible but make no mistake about it: We’re going to have each other’s back. That’s just who we are going to be and who we are.”

Reaves said he “loves” Beverley after L.A. eventually lost to Phoenix 115-105, adding he would have done the same thing for the Lakers veteran if roles were reversed.

Still, Beverley is likely going to be suspended by the NBA for his role in the altercation.

Booker says Beverley needs to start pushing people on chest instead of back

Two years ago, Beverley was involved in a similar incident when he faced Phoenix in a postseason series with his L.A. Clippers two years ago.

It was Chris Paul who ended on the receiving end of Beverley’s shove back then, and it also came from behind the back.

Commenting on Tuesday’s altercation, Booker said Beverley should start pushing people on the chest instead of the back.

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