Friday night's Cavaliers vs Grizzlies game saw one of the most bizarre dismissals in NBA history. Cleveland Cavaliers centre Tristan Thompson made an early exit for a reason not commonly seen across the league. Thompson was ejected at FedExForum after slapping Memphis Grizzlies forward Jae Crowder in the butt as he walked past him at the free-throw line late in the third quarter of their 109-113 loss to the Grizzlies.
Tristan Thompson has been ejected from the game in Memphis. pic.twitter.com/HRja4hntt5— FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) January 18, 2020
With a little more than two minutes left in the third quarter, Tristan Thompson drew a foul as Crowder paced past him on his way back behind the 3-point range. Thompson was standing at the free-throw line waiting for the others to get set. He then reached down and spanked him in the butt, triggering Crowder to jump back in surprise. Quickly, Tristan Thompson's action was considered a technical foul, his second of the game and was subsequently thrown out.
Tristan Thompson and Jae Crowder played together for the Cleveland Cavaliers fleetingly before Crowder was traded to the Utah Jazz during the 2017-18 season. Thompson ended with 3 points and 8 rebounds in 24 minutes he featured in. The Cavaliers centre said that he had not meant anything bad by the slap and will appeal the technical fouls. Thompson’s first technical in the Cavaliers vs Grizzlies was a result of some chirping between him and Crowder. Jae Crowder also reiterated Tristan Thompson's comments saying it was 'all barking.'
The Memphis Grizzlies used a huge 15-3 run in the third quarter to take control of the game and motored their way to a 21-point lead early in the fourth quarter. While the Cavaliers nearly rallied back late, the Grizzlies held on to clinch the 4-point victory. The Grizzlies have 20-22 record in the Western Conference standings, while the Cavaliers are 13th in the Eastern Conference standings, with a 12-30 record. The Cavaliers next face Chicago Bulls while the Grizzlies will face off against the New Orleans Pelicans.