The Suns beat the Mavericks soundly in a crucial Game 5 of their Western Conference playoff series on Tuesday. However, the end of the game still came with some controversy.
Phoenix was leading 108-80 with less than 10 seconds left and easily could have dribbled out the clock. Instead, Cameron Payne saw Bismack Biyombo breaking toward the hoop and lobbed the ball to the center. Biyombo went up for the dunk, but Dallas forward Marquese Chriss came over and fouled him with 2.3 seconds left.
Chriss wasn’t happy that Biyombo went up for the dunk, and he let his opponent know it. The two then got into a shouting match that included a couple of shoves, and they were thrown out of the game.
The ejections didn’t stop the argument between the two, however. Biyombo exited the floor and headed toward the Suns’ locker room; he was followed down the tunnel by Chriss despite the Mavericks’ locker room only being accessible from a different exit.
Chriss knows this, too. He spent the first two seasons of his career with the Suns after they selected him with the eighth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, so he knows the Footprint Center well.
Chriss seemingly just wanted to continue his confrontation with Biyombo; he was unable to do so, as no contact was made between the two players in the locker room area, per TNT’s Allie LaForce.
— Allie LaForce (@ALaForce) May 11, 2022
Nonetheless, Chriss was clearly irked by Biyombo’s choice to dunk the ball late in the game. He was heard yelling, “that’s bulls—” repeatedly after the play, per 98.7 Arizona Sports.
Bismack Biyombo and Marquese Chriss were ejected after Chriss appeared not too happy with Biyombo attempting a dunk with about 3 seconds remaining. @JGSports_6 heard Chriss say “That’s bull (expletive)” multiple times before Biyombo got in his face. #RallyTheValley #NBA pic.twitter.com/WBUcCK032p
— 98.7 Arizona Sports (@AZSports) May 11, 2022
It’s easy to understand why that would bother Chriss. After all, the Suns had the game wrapped up and didn’t need to extend their lead to 30. Besides, the Mavericks had endured a rocky outing, so there was already frustration building for the visitors as they fell behind 3-2 in the series.
Neither Biyombo nor Chriss spoke after the contest, but Suns coach Monty Williams was asked about the incident in his postgame news conference. He didn’t have much to say about Biyombo’s antics, as he doesn’t want the Suns to be distracted from winning.
“I get the competitiveness of the game, but we’re just trying to win the game,” Williams said, per ESPN. “All the stuff that happens that’s extracurricular, I don’t have anything to say about that. I understand how chippy it can be. We just want to win the game and that’s it. We’re trying to get one more win, and that’s our focus right now.”