After leading by as many as 19 points, the Raptors found themselves trailing by 15 late in the fourth thanks to a dreadful showing in the second half (Indiana outscored Toronto 68-39 over the final two quarters on the way to a 108-90 win). As time on the game was running out, known-agitator Lance Stephenson scored an uncontested layup with just 3.3 seconds remaining in the game, a sportsmanship no-no.
DeMar DeRozan and P.J. Tucker immediately took exception to Stephenson’s behaviour, and then the two teams got into what you would call a kerfuffle. DeRozan, Tucker and Stephenson all received technical fouls. (Watch it all unfold in the video above.)
After the dust settled the final seconds were eventually played off the clock, but the Raptors weren’t ready to put the incident behind them just yet.
“I thought it was bush-league. We know who he is. We know what he stands for,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said after the game. “And I thought our guys reacted in the proper way.”
Although no punches were thrown, there was certainly no love lost between these two teams.
“Tasteless. Classless. There’s no where in the league for that,” Tucker responded when asked about Stephenson’s late bucket in the locker room. “… There’s a way to win and there’s a way to lose in this league, and that ain’t the way to win. That ain’t the way you finish games.”
“Nobody cares about his reputation. I could care less. I don’t even know who he is,” Tucker continued. “He’s just maybe happy he just got back in the league. I don’t know what he’s so hype about, but it don’t matter.”
Stephenson apologized after the game, telling reporters he “didn’t mean no harm.”
“The crowd was chanting me on and I just wanted to do it for the fans.”
Indiana moved into eighth spot in the East with the victory, and now we’re all kind of hoping for another Raptors-Pacers first-round series.
— With files from Associated Press