Booker, Dieng ejected after third-quarter scuffle

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Gorgui Dieng were ejected after an altercation in the third quarter of their game in Phoenix on Tuesday night.

The incident occurred with 5 minutes, 24 seconds left in the third, with the Timberwolves leading 82-62.

Booker was stripped on a drive to the basket, and as Dieng came up with the ball, he caught Booker with an elbow to the face. After he got up, Booker got his hand up into Dieng’s face, as players from both teams swarmed around them.

After a video review, Booker and Dieng were assessed double technical fouls and were ejected.

Dieng then appeared to motion to Booker to meet him in the tunnel, and Booker had to be restrained by a Suns security guard as he tried to run up to the tunnel.

“He talked to me, I talked to him back,” said Dieng, who was scoreless with three rebounds in five minutes. “I think he tried to hit me. Everybody could see I didn’t throw a punch. In this league a lot of guys think they are tough, and they are not.”

Dieng questioned why he was ejected.

“Technical foul, OK that’s fine, but an ejection? I want to know why,” he said. “I know if you get two techs you get ejected, but I got one tech. And I didn’t throw a punch. He’s the one who tried to hit me, right? And I got ejected. I would like to know why.”

Booker left without talking to reporters. He had 14 points, four assists and three rebounds.

The Wolves won 118-91.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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