Clippers guard Patrick Beverley turned heads with a display of hard fouls and poor sportsmanship that ultimately led to his ejection from the Clippers' season-ending blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
The 32-year-old veteran was ejected in the waning minutes of the fourth for a brazen shove in the back of Suns star Chris Paul during a timeout that sent Paul sprawling to the floor. Thankfully Paul was fine, and Beverley was promptly tossed.
The classless act came not long after Beverley was whistled for a decidedly hard foul over the back of Suns center DeAndre Ayton late in the second quarter, prompting an outcry on social media over his frequently borderline style of play.
Beverley, known for his dogged defense, wound up and unleashed a wild haymaker-style swipe in an effort to stop Ayton from rising up for a dunk. His stab at the ball missed or only partially connected, and his arm carried down onto Ayton's head, sending the big man sprawling to the floor in a heap.
The play was reviewed by the referees, and, to the surprise of some on Basketball Twitter, Beverley was not assessed a flagrant foul, which would have been his second in as many games after his takedown of Suns guard Chris Paul in Game 5. Curiously, ESPN announcers Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson both said the play was not a flagrant, even though many on social media disagreed.
Foul aside, the incident marked yet another occasion for Beverley's critics to express their displeasure with a great defender who seems to play out of control at times. Others, of course, went the humorous route.