SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Kings coach Mike Brown wasn’t sure what happened in Monday night’s 133-124 loss to the visiting Milwaukee Bucks. But Brown had a message for any NBA team hoping to challenge his Kings as they prepare for their first postseason appearance since 2006.
“I don’t know what happened, but I’m not taking anything from anybody,” Brown said after the game. “Trust me. They all have each other’s backs here.”
Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbled in front of Kings forward Trey Lyles in the final seconds of the game. After the game, several Kings said they took exception to Antetokounmpo’s slow and angled dribble.
A frustrated Lyles tried to steal the ball from Antetokounmpo before shoving him away with both hands with 15.1 seconds left. Unbeknownst to Antetokounmpo, Bucks center Brook Lopez approached Lyles face-to-face. Lyles responded by grabbing Lopez by the neck. Lopez immediately grabbed Lyle by the head as referees, players, coaches and security from both teams quickly gathered.
The situation was settled after the confrontation reached the scorer’s table, where an angry Lopez had to be calmed down near half court.
Both Lopez and Lyles were ejected. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer also played it safe by taking Antetokounmpo out of the game.
It was only 120-116 with 3:11 left before the Bucks went on a 13-6 run to close out the win.
“It’s very sad,” Budenholzer said. “I thought it was a great game. I was really impressed with Sacramento and the way they played. I’m not going to say anything about what happened or what didn’t happen.”
“Giannis was able to dribble the ball out,” Kings guard De’Aaron Fox said. That was all he needed and nothing would have happened.’
Antetokounmpo had 46 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while teammate Khris Middleton had 31 points and nine assists. Fox scored 35 points for Sacramento, while fellow All-Star Domantas Sabonis added his 10th triple-double of the season with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists.