The Cleveland Cavaliers showed fight and togetherness in their 90-76 win over the Indiana Pacers.
CLEVELAND -- You mess with one Cleveland Cavalier, you mess with every Cleveland Cavalier.
That was the message the Cavaliers delivered midway through the fourth quarter of their 90-76 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday night.
With his team up by 17 points, Cavaliers rookie guard Matthew Dellavedova fouled Indiana forward David West as the 10-year veteran went up for a layup. As Dellavedova reached in to commit the foul, he caught an errant elbow from West.
Center Spencer Hawes took exception to the elbow and confronted West. As Dellavedova sprung to his feet and restrained Hawes, West grabbed the Cavaliers center by the throat and shoved him away.
West and Hawes were given technical fouls for the skirmish.
"I appreciate it, even if it cost him a little bit of money," Dellavedova said of Hawes, who will pay a fine because of the amount of technical fouls he has drawn this season. "I'll give him tim tams to make up for it and show that I do appreciate it. Tim tams are like Australian chocolate biscuits. I'm sure he'll enjoy that."
Second-year Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters had words with West after stepping in to break up the fray.
"It's basketball," Waiters said. "Everybody knows Delly is a scrappy guy. He's going to get down there and mix with anybody. I'm going to be there to help him. Spence did a great job of stepping up and that's what we need. We need that, and I'm letting everybody know I've got their backs."
Following the altercation, Cavaliers coach Mike Brown addressed the officials regarding West's elbow that planted Dellavedova on his back. The officials reviewed the play and assessed a flagrant one foul to West.
"I know Delly fouled him, but I just thought West followed through with his elbow, and that was the only thing I wanted to make sure the refs knew," Brown said. "The vantage point that I had, nobody was blocking me.
"I just wanted to make sure that the refs took a look at that because a lot of times, when little things happen like that, if they go unseen or you don't call it, that's how things escalate. I'm pushing our guys to be more physical. I'm pushing them to stand up for each other, and that's all our guys did, in my opinion, in that situation.
"That's what I wanted to make sure the referees called so that our guys would calm down and continue playing basketball. They did the right thing. They've got to protect one another and themselves."