Patrick Beverley shoves Deandre Ayton, ejected late in Phoenix Suns win over Los Angeles Lakers

Phoenix Suns big Deandre Ayton called Patrick Beverley's shove of him late in Tuesday's 115-105 win over the Los Angeles Lakers as "a good Thanksgiving appetizer" for the upcoming holiday feast Thursday.

"I love physicality, I love playing hard, I love playing basketball and whatever comes with basketball," Ayton said. "Other than that, go home to my son and go to sleep. Got some chicken and turkey marinating right now. Marinating my meat. So I've got to get back to that right now, put that in the oven for tomorrow."

Ayton and Beverley both received technical fouls and Ayton was ejected from the game with Phoenix leading, 106-96, with 3:55 left in the game.

"It is what it is," Ayton said. "It didn't hurt me. It didn't take anything out of my pocket and I didn't react. I'm making sure I stay solid. I didn't react. They're not getting me."

This is the second time Beverley has shoved a Suns player in the back within three seasons.

He pushed Chris Paul from behind when with the Clippers late in Phoenix's Game 6 closeout out victory in the 2021 Western Conference finals in Los Angeles.

Beverley received a one-game suspension without pay that took root to begin the following 2021-22 season.

The fiery guard may receive more than a game suspension this time as he had a running start and came out of nowhere to basically deliver a body check to the back of Ayton, who fell down out of bounds.

"I'd have a lot more respect if he just pushed him in the chest when a man is facing him, but is what it is," said Suns All-Star Devin Booker, who earlier called the play "nonsense" and something that shouldn't take place on the court.

Beverley said after the game he won't go back and forth with a player, but did address the situation.

The sequence initially started when Booker fouled Austin Reaves and hit Reaves in the face trying to block the shot with Phoenix up 10 points with 3:55 left in the game.

Reaves went down as Booker's foul was upgraded to a flagrant one after review.

Booker and Ayton were both standing over Reaves and Lakers big Anthony Davis walked over beside Ayton.

"From my point of view, obviously, very unprofessional," Beverley said after the game. "Shouldn't have happened, first and foremost. I'm a big fan of protecting my teammates, especially teammates that I go to war with every night. I kind of felt like the play got out of control after the stare down on Austin Reaves by Book. Then another stare down by Ayton and the refs didn't really come in and kind of break it up."

That's when Beverley got a running start and body checked Ayton.

"I'm not going for that s--t," Beverley continued. "So that's what I saw. Obviously, it's unfortunate that it happened on national TV, but you know me, regardless of what's going on, I'm a big fan of protecting my teammates and I'm a foxhole guy. I put on the jersey. I commit to a team, I commit to a city. It's kind of my motto. I'm a foxhole guy. Very unfortunate situation, though."

Beverley is 6-1, 180 pounds while Ayton stands 6-11 and weighs 250. Ayton fell over Reaves after the shove.

"We got each other's back," Davis said after the game. "Pat is known for that, having his teammates back. He started talking close to the end of the game, Ayton, talking to Pat, and somehow got directed towards me back and forth and then I think they said he actually hit Austin in the face."

Looking at the replay, Ayton never hit Reaves in the face, but his lower leg did make contact with Reaves while Reaves was on the ground. While Reaves was turning and looked up at Ayton, Beverley charged Ayton.

"My focus was on (Ayton) as we kept going back and forth and then Pat felt like he was standing over him and he did what he should do, having his teammates back," Davis said. "We' are never going to let anyone stand over our teammate and make them feel they're not a man. That's disrespectful in a sense. Just having each other's back. I think that's all it was."

With Phoenix leading 106-96 with 3:55 left in the game, Devin Booker was called for a foul on Austin Reaves that was later upgraded to a flagrant one. Booker hit Reaves in the face on the block attempt.

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns falls over Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angles Lakers after being pushed by Patrick Beverley #21during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on Nov. 22, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona. Beverley was ejected from the play. The Suns defeated the Lakers 115-105.
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns falls over Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angles Lakers after being pushed by Patrick Beverley #21during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on Nov. 22, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona. Beverley was ejected from the play. The Suns defeated the Lakers 115-105.

Ayton fell down backward out of bounds, got up and initially looked to go back after Beverley.

"As he should, pissed off and ready for action," said Suns wing Mikal Bridges, who looked to get between Ayton and Beverley as security broke up the situation. "That's why I tried to go over there and help my boy, but there's no reason for it."

Beverley and Ayton never engaged after the shove, but Davis pushed Ayton, who dunked and stared at him on the other end of the floor right before the incident.

"I love it," Ayton said. "I'm playing hard. I didn't say anything for (Davis) to push me. I'm playing hard. For me, it's between the lines. I'm not taking anything personal. I'm just putting my head down."

Suns coach Monty Williams called for the NBA to look into plays of this nature.

"I just think it's just happening too many times," Williams said. "I just think the league needs to take a look at those kinds of plays. They're just unnecessary. There was obviously some tension, but with us, it's happening too many times and when you push a guy when he's not looking like that, it's just not called for. "

Williams understands the physicality of basketball as he played in the 1990s when the NBA was much rougher. He even acknowledged the back-and-forth is "normal," in the league, but for him, enough is enough.

Ayton got into it with Draymond Green in last week's win over the Warriors and Devin Booker exchanged words with Klay Thompson, who was ejected in the first Warriors-Suns meeting last month Phoenix won as well.

"To continue to do that, it's just out of control," Williams said. "It's happening to us too many times. So yeah, the league, they threw (Beverley) out of the game, but it's just getting kind of silly now to the point where you just kind of get your guys out of the ways and say, 'Guys, let's just win the game,' but it is just getting silly. That's the only word I can come up with."

Ayton said he enjoyed the trash talk, but even noted this has become routine for the Suns.

"We're always in conflict," he said. "Look at the last two years in the playoffs. There was always something on the way down. We're used to that and we have vets on the team. Guys like CP, we've got (Cameron Payne) just to calm me down, calm the whole thing down and play ball. At the end of the day, we're all human, we are athletes and we do get amped up, but other than that, we keep it between the lines and play basketball."

First-year Lakers head coach Darvin Ham acknowledge basketball being an "emotional sport," but expects Beverley to go through "some type of consequence" for this actions.

“From what I saw, Ayton was standing there about to walk over (Reaves)," Ham said. "With Pat Bev, you don’t want to just be a tough man competition. You actually want to play tough basketball. At the end of the day, I am not mad at him. He is there protecting his teammate and I am sure he will go through some type of consequence for that but at the end of the day that is who we have to be, is Lakers. We have to be together."

Ham continued by addressing both sides of the situation for the Lakers.

"Some of the main words I said from day one is competitive, together and accountable," Ham continued. "Wewere together and we are together. That has to be our identity. Teams have to know that they just cannot push usaround. We need to play within the rules, but we also got to have each other’s back and be together. It is an unfortunate play but that is who we have to be. Everybody pulling for one another and everybody protecting oneanother."

The next game between the Suns and Lakers is Dec. 19 in Phoenix.

Have opinion about current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at dmrankin@gannett.com or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Patrick Beverley shoves Deandre Ayton, ejected in Suns win over Lakers