A physical game between the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets carried over afterward when several Rockets players reportedly waited outside of the Mavericks locker room to confront center Salah Mejri.
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, during the game, Mejri said something about Rockets forward Trevor Ariza’s wife and family, setting Ariza off.
At one point, Ariza was restrained by Rockets staff and security as he yelled toward the Mavericks bench. He received a second technical and was ejected.
According to ESPN’s Calvin Watkins, after the game, Ariza walked to the Mavericks locker room and waited for Mejri. He was reportedly accompanied by two security guards while James Harden and Rockets guards Eric Gordon and Patrick Beverley joined him. According to Watkins, police monitored the situation, and Ariza eventually left without incident as Mavs players came out and tried to calm him down.
Mejri denied the comments, telling ESPN, “[Ariza] was swearing and bulls—. Ask him. He’s out there. Ask him.”
Beverley also reportedly shouted to Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, “Don’t be mad at us, Coach. Way to be an icon, Coach. Have a nice season, Coach.”
The game was marred by several hard fouls. Mavs center Andrew Bogut was first called for a flagrant foul for leaning into Harden on a hard screen.
Later, Rockets forward Ryan Anderson took a hard foul from Mavs forward Dwight Powell.
Harden was angry after the game, saying, “I don’t know what they were on tonight. That other team was tripping tonight. They were disrespectful, were unprofessional players and coaches. I don’t know what was their problem, but I think that got us going. They wanted to throw a little cheap shot and just woke us up a little bit, and it was over from there.”
Luckily, the two teams’ season series is already finished, so there likely won’t be any carry-over into future games.
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