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Lakers News: Patrick Beverley's Cheap Shot Called Out By Devin Booker And Charles Barkley

It was his most memorable play as a Laker so far, so there's that?

During the closing minutes of the fourth quarter of last night's 115-105 Phoenix Suns victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, things reached a boiling point on one relatively innocuous play.

Starting Lakers shooting guard Austin Reaves went up for a rebound against All-NBA Suns shooting guard Devin Booker, with 3:55 remaining in regulation and the game seemingly well in hand for Phoenix. Booker pushed Reaves to the ground and secured the ball. He was whistled for a Flagrant 1 foul, and stepped aggressively over Reaves.

Suns center Deandre Ayton, in the midst of an eventual 14-point, 15-rebound night, slid over to Reaves and stood over him. 

L.A. starting point (for now) Patrick Beverley took issue with this behavior, and made sure Ayton knew about it. As you can see in the below clip, Beverley ran into Ayton, shoving him full-force from behind to send him spiraling. This obviously got both the Lakers and the Suns all hot and bothered, and soon many players had to be restrained from getting into an all-out brawl on the floor.

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Beverley's behavior was criticized postgame on the TNT broadcast by a pair of all-time Suns, past and present.

Booker laid down this pearl of wisdom to TNT's Chris Haynes after the win, during which he scored 25 points. "Pat [needs] to stop rushing people in the back man," Booker said. "Push them in the chest." Shoving a guy from behind is certainly a bit of a cheap shot, so Booker has a salient point.

Per Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Beverley retorted, "I'm not going back and forth with all of that," when he was made aware of the Booker quote.

"Obviously, very unprofessional, shouldn't have happened, first and foremost," Beverley said in addressing gathered media about the shove. "But I'm a big fan of protecting my teammates. Especially teammates that I go to war for every night. I kind of felt like the play kind of got out of control after the stare down at Austin Reaves by Book, then another stare down by Ayton. And the refs didn't really come in and kind of break it up. You know I'm not going for that s***."

Charles Barkley joked that Beverley was in line for a smackdown, as this behind-the-back shove joins other, similar moments from earlier in Beverley's career against the Suns, like when he shoved Chris Paul from behind during the 2021 playoffs.

Beverley this season has offered very little in the way of on-court performance. He's a decent defender, but so is Austin Reaves. And Austin Reaves can actually score. To our knowledge, he has yet to engage in this kind of goofy conduct. He or newly-healthy Dennis Schröder should start at the point.