NBA suspends Lakers’ Patrick Beverley three games for dropping Ayton from behind

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns

“Got a person on the ground, two people looking over mean-mugging and puffing their chest out and referees don’t get into it to kind of separate it, control the game, so I’m going to stand up for my teammate.”

Patrick Beverley was not backing down from his actions at the end of the Lakers’ loss to the Suns, and the NBA came down hard on him, suspending Beverley for three games without pay. From the official release:

 Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley has been suspended three games without pay for forcefully shoving Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton from behind and knocking him to the court, it was announced today by Joe Dumars, Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations. The suspension was based in part on Beverley’s history of unsportsmanlike acts.

That history of unsportsmanlike acts includes Beverley being suspended after shoving Chris Paul in the back in Game 6 of the Western Conference playoffs last season. He has been suspended or fined eight times for unsportsmanlike acts.

On this play, Devin Booker had picked up a flagrant foul catching Austin Reaves in the face while blocking his shot. Ayton, fired up from a couple of previous plays, stood over Reaves, and Beverley took matters into his own hands with a cheap shot.

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Beverley was ejected at the time, but the Lakers had Beverley’s back after the game because they felt he had their back.

The suspension will cost Beverley $268,966 in salary, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Two of those games will be against the Spurs but with LeBron James back in the Lakers lineup (he had missed the last five games with a groin injury). The third game is next Monday in Los Angeles against the Pacers.

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