It was just like head coach J.B. Bickerstaff told Cleveland Cavaliers media after Thursday’s win.
Don’t start it. Don’t run from it.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Bickerstaff said, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “We don’t have those guys that start s—, but we got guys that don’t run from s—.
“You have to in this league. You have to stand up for yourself. That’s what he did and his teammates had his back.”
Cavs guard Donovan Mitchell didn’t start it when he gave just enough pressure on a driving layup from Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks for forward Evan Mobley to tip. Brooks rolled on the ground and threw his arm back, striking Mitchell in the groin area before trying to get up from the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse court.
Donovan Mitchell didn’t run from it before both the Cavs guard and Grizzlies forward were ejected from the game. He threw the ball at Dillon Brooks and shoved the former 2017 second-round pick before both benches tried to break things up.
The Grizzlies never came close to a lead following the scuffle.
Cleveland pulled away with a 128-113 win over the Grizzlies with the help of scoring from forwards Cedi Osman and Isaac Okoro, as well as guard Ricky Rubio, in the fourth quarter.
Guard Darius Garland, who scored 32 points against Memphis in 33 minutes played, had some words of his own during a postgame press conference.
“We’re some nice young men — until you try to do some weird stuff like the dude did over there,” Darius Garland said. “We’re a tough group. We’ve got some guys that get after you and we’re going to fight back if you try to push us first. We’re not soft or anything. We’re still some dogs, and we’ll never back down from nobody, never lay down for nobody, especially those guys over there.
“We’re no sisses over here.”