WASHINGTON (AP) — A fan was tackled after running onto the court
during an NBA playoff game between the Washington Wizards and
Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, the latest example of unruly
behavior as teams let more spectators in the stands during the
“You can tell those people have been in some sort of captivity
for the last year, year and change, right?” Wizards center Robin
Lopez said. “It’s kind of wild to see the liberties people are
The players were heading toward Washington's basket in the third
quarter of the home team's 122-114 victory in Game 4 of the Eastern
Conference first-round series when the action was halted because of
the intruder, who jumped as if pretending to try to dunk.
A security guard grabbed and held down the person near the
baseline as 76ers center Dwight Howard stood nearby.
The fan was escorted away from the court and play resumed after
a brief interruption.
“I don’t know what he was trying to do,” Washington forward Rui
Hachimura said. “I think they're just excited to come back. But
they’ve got to be more respectful of us as players. They think they
can do whatever they want."
After beginning this season with zero spectators allowed at its
arena, Washington has steadily increased the capacity to the point
where Monday's contest had an announced attendance of 10,665,
roughly 50% of what the place holds.
“The stuff that’s been happening over the last week — we all
know that fans shouldn’t be doing that stuff. That shouldn’t happen
during the game,” Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal said. “Just sit
there and enjoy the game or stay home and watch it on TV. We’re
fortunate nobody got hurt.”
During this series, Washington guard Russell Westbrook had
popcorn dumped on him as he walked to the locker room after getting
injured in Game 2 at Philadelphia.
“I don’t know what’s going on with these fans right now,” Sixers
coach Doc Rivers said. “We've just got to have safety.”
On Sunday in the Celtics-Nets series, Brooklyn guard Kyrie
Irving was nearly hit by a bottle thrown from the stands during a
game in Boston.
Earlier, in New York, a spectator spit at Atlanta’s Trae Young
as he prepared to inbound the ball during the Knicks-Hawks
Three fans were banned in Utah after Grizzlies guard Ja Morant
said they “just went too far” with him or his family.
“NBA has great fans. I played in Philadelphia; they have great
fans. They had one knucklehead that decided to throw popcorn.
Boston has great fans. One knucklehead decided to throw a water
bottle. New York has great fans; one knucklehead decided to spit on
somebody. We have great fans. One knucklehead decided to come into
the arena,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said.
“It’s unacceptable,” Brooks said. "I'm tired of it. We all
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