Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (R) said he was just defending teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo (L) when he fought Trey Lyles in the final seconds of a win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday in Sacramento, Calif. Photo by Matt Marton/EPA-EFE
March 14 (UPI) -- Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez and Sacramento Kings forward Trey Lyles jumped into a heated melee after Lyles shoved Giannis Antetokounmpo in the final seconds of their latest meeting in Sacramento, Calif.
The dustup occurred with about 15 seconds remaining in the 133-124 Bucks victory Monday at the Golden 1 Center.
"I just wanted to go out there and protect my guy," Lopez told reporters, when asked about the interaction with Lyles.
Antetokounmpo's Bucks led 132-124 when the star forward dribbled past half court. Lyles then poked his arm at the ball as Antetokounmpo dribbled. The Bucks star used his body to keep Lyles away. The Kings center then pushed Antetokounmpo's back.
Lopez then walked into the area and went chest-to-chest with Lyles. The 7-foot-1 center and 6-foot-9 forward exchanged shoves and words before they were surrounded by teammates in a circus of pushes.
Lopez and Lyles each were ejected for their roles in the scuffle.
"It was nothing personal," Lyles said. "If a bigger guy walks out on me, I'm not one for talking. ... What happened was what happened."
Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 46 points, with 12 rebounds and four assists in the win. Lopez logged 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Kings guard De'Aaron Fox scored a team-high 35 points. Kings center Domantas Sabonis totaled 23 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists. Lyles totaled six points, seven rebounds and four assists.
The Bucks (49-19) will face the Phoenix Suns (37-31) at 10 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Phoenix. The Kings (40-27) will battle the Chicago Bulls (31-36) at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Chicago.