Mar 10, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) and Phoenix Suns small forward P.J. Tucker (17) fight after a loose ball foul during the second half at Staples Center. P.J. Tucker was ejected from the game. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
It was billed as one of the biggest matchups of the year and these two Western Conference foes didn’t disappoint.
A hotly contested game at Staples Center turned ugly on Monday night when the Phoenix Suns’ P.J. Tucker got into it with the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, leading to Tucker’s ejection, and what could ultimately be a suspension.
Fantasy basketball owners will need to hit the waiver wire to find a replacement for the Suns’ small forward.
With 5:28 left in the fourth quarter and the Clippers leading 104-90, Tucker and Griffin got tangled up while fighting for a rebound. The video below shows Griffin landing on Tucker and then the latter immediately throwing what looks like an open-palm right jab to Griffin’s face:
After the officials reviewed the skirmish for a few minutes, Tucker was assessed a technical foul and an ejection.
It’s more than likely Tucker will receive a suspension of at least one game, maybe more. The Milwaukee Bucks’ Ersan Ilyasova and O.J. Mayo were each suspended one game this past weekend for being involved in physical altercations.
It’s a real blow to Tucker’s fantasy basketball owners, as the 28-year-old had been playing really well of late, averaging 12.0 points, 8.0 boards, 3.2 assists, 1.8 steals, and 0.8 3-pointers over his last five games. He has shot 64.5 percent from the field in that span as well.
Marcus Morris (3.9 percent owned on ESPN.com) should be the biggest beneficiary of Tucker’s presumed absence. Morris has scored 13.6 points while knocking down 10 3-pointers over his last six contests.
Channing Frye, who already starts for the Suns, could see some more minutes as well.
Frye has been slumping in recent weeks, but is averaging 11.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.1 triples on the season. The 6’11” power forward replaced Tucker after his ejection and went on to play 37 minutes, his most since Feb. 21. He is owned in 60.0 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.