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Raptors scuffle because of late 'classless' basket, while Westbrook equals record

Not only that, Klay Thompson dropped 41 points for the Warriors and LeBron James warmed up for tonight’s battle with the Celtics.

LANCE STEPHENSON’S RETURN to Indiana sparked the Pacers to a much needed win, but his last basket of the evening incensed the playoff-bound Toronto Raptors.

Source: Elias Sports/YouTube

“Tasteless, classless,” Toronto’s P.J. Tucker said of Stephenson’s layup with 3.3 seconds remaining in a game the Pacers had in the bag.

The 108-90 come-from-behind triumph saw the Pacers break a four-game losing streak and move back to the number seven playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

Stephenson, playing his first home game as a Pacer since 2014 after rejoining the club on Sunday, scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter, when the Pacers out-scored the Raptors 31-15.

But the game ended with a brief shoving match after Stephenson put up his uncontested lay-up instead of dribbling out the clock.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers PJ Tucker and DeMar DeRozan get into an altercation with Lance Stephenson Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Stephenson and Toronto’s Tucker and DeMar DeRozan all received technical fouls.

“The game was over,” DeRozan said. “That’s not the way you win. The game was over, so run the clock out.”

Even Pacers coach Nate McMillan said that Stephenson violated usual NBA etiquette.

“Normally, guys hold the ball in that situation,” McMillan said. “I don’t think he meant to embarrass anyone.”

And indeed Stephenson, who once tried to rattle LeBron James by blowing in the superstar’s ear during a playoff game, was contrite after padding his team’s final winning margin.

“Everybody was chanting my name and saying, “Go, Go,” Stephenson said.

“I just want to say sorry to the Raptors. I didn’t mean any harm. I was very excited, first game back home and I wanted to do it for the fans. I know I made a mistake, and I’m sorry for that. I was caught in the moment.”

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Oklahoma City Thunder Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

One man who won’t be apologising to anyone anytime soon is Russell Westbrook.

The leading MVP contender pulled level with Oscar Robinson’s 1961/2 season record for 41 triple doubles during last night’s win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Source: NBA/YouTube

Westbrook finished the game with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists to put OKC back to winning ways.

The guard drained a three-pointer just before halftime to finish the first half with 12 points. Check. Minutes into the third period he notched his 10th rebound (check!) and within seconds had delivered a 10th assist (job done) on Taj Gibson’s basket that put the Thunder up 67-42.

His 41 triple-doubles this season are more than 10 NBA teams have amassed in their club histories, and just 13 short of LeBron James’ career total.

Source: NBA/YouTube

James notched his 54th triple double as the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced from a double overtime win over Stephenson’s Pacers to defeat the Orlando Magic 122 – 102.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The reigning champions will be back in action tonight against the Boston Celtics with the eastern conference lead at stake.

Way out west, a little Steph Curry magic – not to mention 41 points from Klay Thompson – pushed the Warriors to a 121 – 107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Source: NBA/YouTube

Thompson’s second 40-point game of the season was the Warriors’ 12th straight win. The splash brother drained seven three-pointers in 14 attempts. Curry had 19 points with nine assists.

Source: NBA/YouTube

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