Lakers forward Carlos Boozer and Pacers center Roy Hibbert had to be separated during Los Angeles' 88-87 home victory on Sunday, and the back-and-forth kept going after the final buzzer.
The fireworks began midway through the fourth quarter with Indiana leading 77-74. As Hibbert attempted to establish position on offense, Boozer easily shoved the 7-foot-2 center to the ground with two arms. In response, Hibbert immediately charged Boozer and shoved him back before members of both teams and the officials intervened to prevent the skirmish from escalating further.
The officials assessed a flagrant foul 1 to Boozer for the shove, a designation that applies to contact that is deemed "unnecessary" and which does not require an automatic ejection. Hibbert was assessed a technical foul for his response.
Here's another look at the sequence. Hover over the image to trigger the video.
Afterward, Boozer scoffed at Hibbert. "[Hibbert] flops a lot," Boozer said, according to ESPN Radio LA. [He] got up acting like he was a tough guy. We all know he's not a tough guy."
Hibbert, for his part, sat out the postgame war of words. "Arghhh," he said, according to the Indianapolis Star. "I don't want to speak on Carlos."
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who hit the game-winning shot on Sunday, took issue with Boozer's flagrant foul. "I wonder what the league is coming to when that’s a flagrant foul," Bryant said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It’s a shame that has to be a flagrant."
Perhaps those comments should come as no surprise. Bryant's initial reaction said it all.
Boozer, Bryant and the Lakers would ultimately get the last laugh, as Hibbert missed a potential game-winning jumper at the buzzer. Bryant finished with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists. Nick Young added a team-high 22 points and three rebounds off the bench.
C.J. Miles posted a team-high 19 points as six Pacers players finished in double figures. Hibbert posted 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers improved to 11-23. The Pacers fell to 13-22.