OAKLAND, Calif. — A fan seated courtside for Game 3 of the NBA Finals was ejected after shoving Kyle Lowry when the Toronto Raptors star crashed into a row of seats while trying to save a ball from going out of bounds on Wednesday night.
Lowry scored 23 points and made several big shots in a 123-109 victory that gave the Raptors a 2-1 series lead over Golden State. There was as much buzz afterward about Lowry’s dust-up with the fan as his offense.
The league said it is investigating the incident.
“The fans have a place; we love our fans,” Lowry told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt. “But fans like that shouldn’t be allowed to be in there, because it’s not right. I can’t do nothing to protect myself. But the league does a good job, and hopefully they ban him from all NBA games forever.”
Early in the fourth quarter, Lowry ran down a loose ball and jumped in the air as it was going out of bounds, not far from where Warriors owner Joe Lacob was sitting. Lowry knocked the ball into a referee and landed in the lap of one male fan, who appeared to grab Lowry’s jersey with two hands.
A woman who was standing nearby patted Lowry on his back. At the same time, a man wearing a blue shirt who was sitting down extended his left arm and gave Lowry a hard shove in his left shoulder.
Lowry got up and complained to officials, who ejected the fan from the game. Lowry told The Associated Press the fan repeatedly cursed at him and said he had spoken to the NBA about the incident before leaving the arena.
Kyle Lowry’s physical interaction with a fan in Game 3 led to the fan being ejected and Lowry advocating the fan be banned from NBA games for life.
“There’s no place for that,” Lowry said. “He had no reason to touch me. He had no reason to reach over two seats and then say some vulgar language to me. There’s no place for people like that in our league. Hopefully, he never comes back to an NBA game.”
Lowry said the incident was not like the high-profile one that involved Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook in Utah during the regular season, when the Thunder guard said a fan made racist remarks.
“People who sit courtside, they might get in on the action,” Lowry said. “Don’t sit courtside if you don’t want somebody touching you.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.