Serge Ibaka, Marquese Chriss Suspended for Roles in Raptors vs. Cavaliers Fight

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2019

CLEVELAND, OHIO - MARCH 11: Referee Marat Kogut #32 directs Serge Ibaka #9 of the Toronto Raptors to the bench after he fought with Marquese Chriss #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half at Quicken Loans Arena on March 11, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Raptors 126-101. 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. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

The NBA suspended Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka for three games and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Marquese Chriss for one game following their scuffle in the Cavs' 126-101 win Monday, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

Ibaka and Chriss were fighting for position on a full-court inbounds heave late in the third quarter. After the ball went out of bounds, the two appeared to exchange words before Ibaka grabbed Chriss around the throat and pushed him into the basket stanchion.

The two players briefly jostled and each threw a punch at one another before a referee and teammates stepped in to break up the encounter.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Ibaka and Chriss out here throwing punches 😳 https://t.co/NwRhL6Apw4

"Ibaka's suspension was based on his instigation of the physical altercation, throwing a punch at Chriss, and his poor history of fighting during NBA games," the league said in its press release, per Philly.com's Keith Pompey. "Chriss's suspension was based on throwing a punch at Ibaka."

NBA salary-cap expert Albert Nahmad shared the financial ramifications of the respective suspensions:

Albert Nahmad @AlbertNahmad

Serge Ibaka’s 3-game suspension will cost him $448K, and save the Raptors $560K in luxury taxes. Marquese Chriss’ 1-game suspension will cost him $22K.

The Raptors sit 2.5 games back of the first-place Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference, so losing Ibaka for three games is less than ideal. He has been excellent this year, averaging 15.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

The timing of his suspension is somewhat fortuitous, though. Toronto plays the struggling Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday before a back-to-back against the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks starting Sunday. The Pistons will be a tricky opponent, but the schedule is pretty favorable toward the Raptors.

Chriss will be absent for Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers, which shouldn't register much of an impact for the 17-50 Cavaliers.