Trevor Ariza, James Harden, Rockets Tried to Confront Salah Mejri After Game

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2016

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 27: Trevor Ariza #1 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on December 27, 2016 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images)
Danny Bollinger/Getty Images

Rockets forward Trevor Ariza waited outside the Dallas Mavericks locker room for center Salah Mejri following Houston's testy 123-107 win Tuesday, according to Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com.

Teammates Patrick Beverley, James Harden and Eric Gordon accompanied Ariza. Mejri did not leave the locker room, and the Rockets players left the area before there was a confrontation. Dallas police officers were on hand to ensure the situation didn't escalate.

Salah Mejri @50Mejri

There is always 2 sides to every story.I would never insult an opponent's family regardless of how much a player insulted me repeatedly https://t.co/Gi8b9F8bzD

The game involved a number of confrontations, including eight technical fouls and Ariza's ejection.

Shahbaz Khan of Kings.com provided a photo of Harden in the shirt he wore after the win:

Shahbaz Khan @ShahbazMKhan

James Harden took NBA Twitter to a new level...he was wearing an "L" shirt in Mavs colors after the win in Dallas ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ (via R/Rockets) https://t.co/zlsCEO32hi

Some of the skirmishes: Harden took issue with an Andrew Bogut screen, Dirk Nowitzki and Ryan Anderson got physical with one another, Justin Anderson and Nene engaged in an arm-grappling match, and Rick Carlisle had words with Ariza.

Harden spoke about the issues the two teams were having, per Watkins.

I don't know what they were on tonight. That other team was tripping tonight. They were disrespectful, were unprofessional players and coaches. I don't know what was their problem, but I think that got us going. They wanted to throw a little cheap shot and just woke us up a little bit, and it was over from there.

The feud between Ariza and Mejri took center stage, with a source telling Watkins the Dallas center "made a derogatory comment to Ariza about Ariza's wife and children between the third and fourth quarters." However, Mejri "strongly denied to ESPN's Tim MacMahon" that he said anything about Ariza's family.

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Ariza's response to Mejri was out of character, as Watkins noted:

Calvin Watkins @calvinwatkins

I'll say this. Ariza is one of the more professional players in the league. To set him off like this means something bad was said.

Beverley, who didn't play in the game, heckled Carlisle during the coach's postgame press conference.

"Don't be mad at us, Coach," Beverley yelled at Carlisle, though the coach didn't respond. "Way to be an icon, Coach. Have a nice season, Coach."

Beverley also had words for the Mavericks on Twitter after the contest:

Patrick Beverley @patbev21

What we experienced today as a team. Was the upmost disrespect. And total disrespect to Us and the GAME OF BASKETBALL...Still got the W tho

"We're still out trying to win, however it goes on," Gordon added. "They did too much talking on the other team, way too much talking and when the game is already won, the only way they can try to get into the game is try to get the refs involved to try to create chaos. It's good we got a good win and moved on."

The two teams will not play each other again during the regular season. Houston (24-9) swept the season series 4-0 versus Dallas (9-23).

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