Sunday, April 4, 2010
Updated: April 5, 9:53 AM ET
Barnes, Thabeet at center of fight
ESPN.com news services
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A game between the Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies broke into a scuffle.
Matt Barnes was called for an offensive foul for pushing off on Memphis center Hasheem Thabeet with 6:54 remaining in the third quarter of Orlando's 107-92 win on Sunday.
Barnes got up to protest the call and bumped Thabeet, who shoved Barnes, who came back with an even harder push square in the center's chest.
A shoving match ensued with nearly all 10 players involved near the baseline. Memphis coach Lionel Hollins came off the bench near the scrum to help break it up.
"I didn't know what was going on," Thabeet said. "I thought I got pushed. I turned around and asked, 'What's happening?' And everybody's overreacting to the situation.
"He's a good guy," Thabeet added. "I actually consider him a good friend of mine. Before the game, he came over and we said hi to each other."
Barnes said he was on his way to the official -- or as Magic coach Stan Van Gundy put it, Barnes "was going to get a technical" -- and Thabeet likely misunderstood his intentions.
"I had nothing to say or really do with him. He didn't make the call, the ref did," Barnes said. "So I was going to go say something to the ref, and he may have thought I was coming to him and he pushed me, and I kind of reacted in the wrong way."
Barnes was called for two technicals and ejected, and teammate Vince Carter was assessed a technical. Thabeet and Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo were whistled for a technical each.
"Just security," Carter joked of his role, "trying to break everything up."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.