The Bulls and Thunder played on Monday night, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining 25-point blowout, after OKC won going away 121-96. Russell Westbrook had a triple-double, which isn't a surprise anymore because he's averaging a triple-double for the third consecutive season. But Robin Lopez's rationale behind his slapstick ejection in the fourth and after the game personified the boisterous blowout.
First, the fight, or whatever you call this brouhaha, originated with Kris Dunn pushing Jerami Grant, and then Jerami Grant pushing Kris Dunn even harder. Then, Robin Lopez came over and Grant casually flipped him almost into the first row. Maligned Bulls coach Jim Boylen led Grant away from the scrum by the neck, too. We were tempted to do a run-on sentence spelling out all that transpired because that's how it felt to watch.
A couple of minutes later, Lopez dropped the ball on a supine Grant and was tossed, but not before Steven Adams patted him on the back and a Thunder fan faked a high-five as he was headed to the locker room.
In dry terms, Lopez explained how he'd actually tried to help the refs:
"I’m just trying to get people out of the way," Boylen said of grabbing Grant by the neck to lead him away from Lopez. "I saw him come across the court into the pile. I have nothing against Grant. I could tell he was upset. Just trying to help guys. As a coach, you’re kind of looking out for everybody."
Then, Boylen played the wise old man card, and sounded a lot like baby boomers who've never been in a fight in their lives but feel the need to philosophize on how soft the contemporary game has gotten.
"To be honest, it’s really not that big a deal," the Bulls coach said. "Those things used to happen all the time. Now they happen and it’s like a major deal. It’s not that big a deal. Everybody moved on."
Grant, for his part, agreed with Boylen's assessment and didn't think there was anything untoward about how he led him away (we're guessing Basketball Twitter was agog about the whole thing, but it's mostly populated by prima donnas now).
"Trying to protect his team. Yeah. Pretty much it," Grant said of Boylen. "It’s a scuffle. Stuff is going to happen." Pretty much.
Here's a video of most everything that went down, with some basketball thrown in for good measure.