Robin Lopez, Jerami Grant Fight into the Fans During Heated Bulls vs. Thunder

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2018

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant, center left, scuffles with Chicago Bull center Robin Lopez, center right, in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)
Kyle Phillips/Associated Press

Tempers flared during the Oklahoma City Thunder's 121-96 win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena in OKC.

As seen in the following video courtesy of ESPN, the teams began to push and shove at the 2:15 mark, leading to Thunder forward Jerami Grant and Bulls center Robin Lopez falling into the first row of fans:

The melee occurred after Bulls guard Kris Dunn pushed Thunder guard Russell Westbrook with Chicago trailing by 21 in the third quarter.

Both Grant and Lopez were assessed technical fouls as a result of the incident.

Lopez was ejected shortly thereafter when he rolled the ball at Grant while he was laying on the court. According to ESPN.com's Royce Young, Lopez offered a tongue-in-cheek explanation:

"He needed the ball to shoot the free throws. I thought the refs had done enough, and I wanted to alleviate some of their work. They had an abnormally large workload for the first half of that quarter, and I wanted to help them out, ease their pain a little bit, ease their burden. And I guess not everyone saw it the same way."

Chicago is tied for the second-worst record in the NBA at 7-24, and it has now lost 11 of its past 13 games.

Meanwhile, the Thunder improved to 19-10 with the win, placing them third in the Western Conference, just one game behind the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors.

Since the Thunder and Bulls have already faced each other twice this month, their season series is over, meaning there isn't likely to be any follow-up to Monday's incident aside from some possible league discipline being handed down to those who were involved.