Latest posts by Don McCormack (see all)
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Isaiah Thomas has taken plenty of hits during his three games as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, having been knocked to the hardwood on several occasions.
However, all of the spills Thomas has taken paled in comparison to the one he dished out in the Cavaliers’ embarrassing 127-99 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night at Target Center.
With 6:47 to play in the third quarter and the outcome already decided, Andrew Wiggins, a former top overall draft pick in 2014 by Cleveland, caught the ball on the right wing and drove past J.R. Smith of the Cavaliers en route to the hoop. As Cleveland’s Jae Crowder moved over to attempt to draw the offensive foul, Thomas, who was to Wiggins’ right, swung his right arm, catching Wiggins in the throat and neck area.
An official review of the play was done and Thomas was tagged with a Flagrant-2 foul, which calls for an immediate ejection. In three games as a Cavalier, Thomas has three technical fouls and an ejection.
“I’ve gotten numerous steals like that, going out like that,” Thomas said after the game. “It just happened, I hit him in the throat. I apologized right away because I didn’t mean to do that. I’m just glad he’s all right.”
Wiggins accepted the apology and said the contact as unintentional. The hard takedown didn’t stop him from doing what he always does — torch the team that drafted then traded him to Minnesota for Kevin Love.
He scored a game-high 25 points and beat the Cavaliers for the first time in his career after losing the first six matchups. He’s now averaging an impressive 29.3 points in his career against Cleveland.
“You never forget,” Wiggins admitted after the game. “I don’t think any NBA player forgets what team you’re on and that you got traded.”
Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue didn’t ‘t agree with Thomas’ ejection.
“I don’t think he should’ve been thrown out, but whatever,” he said.
Thomas said he understood the decision by the officials.
“I was surprised because I went for the ball,” he said. “But I know anything around the head is really… especially, if it looks bad, you’re going to probably be thrown out.
“I just made sure he was good, made sure he knew I had no intention of trying to hurt him or hit him in the throat.”