Anthony among 10 players ejected in brawl at MSG
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Ten players, including NBA scoring leader Carmelo Anthony, were ejected from the Nuggets' 123-100 win over the New York Knicks Saturday night after a brawl late in the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden.
It was with 1:15 left in the fourth quarter and the Knicks behind 119-100 when New York's Mardy Collins threw his arms around the neck of Denver's J.R. Smith, as he drove to the basket.
Collins was called for a flagrant two foul, but Smith immediately protested the hard contact and jawed at the Knicks rookie. New York's Nate Robinson then barreled in and yelled at Smith, tackling him into the stands.
Anthony then pushed New York's Jared Jeffires and extended his right hand to punch at Collins, and the action moved to near center court when Jeffries tried to get at the Nuggets star player, but he was pulled down by another player before order was restored.
Although the violence fell short of the brawl between Indiana and Detroit, which spilled into the stands in November 2004, this melee was out of hand as far as the players were concerned in the nation's most famous arena.
Anthony, Smith, Eduardo Najera, Marcus Camby and Andre Miller were thrown out of the game for Denver, while Collins, Jeffries, Robinson, Channing Frye and David Lee were all ejected for the Knicks.
Multi-game suspensions are a certainty and some of those could be lengthy.
"I feel bad for the league. I feel bad for the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks," Denver coach George Karl said. "It was a poor play display of disrespecting basketball and disrespecting the game in the best world to play the game of basketball."
Knicks coach Isiah Thomas and Robinson took exception to the players Denver had in the game at the time, especially with the game well in hand in the final two minutes.
"(It was) the score and the guys that they had in," Robinson said. "Actually I didn't throw any punches, just protecting my family, just protecting my team.
"If you're up 20, 30 points, we're not going to keep Stephon (Marbury) or Eddy (Curry) in. We're not going to do that. It's like a slap in the face to the team, saying we're going to embarrass you guys like that."
Denver players didn't comment on the fight after the game.
"The whole scene is, whatever word you want to use, is probably correct," Karl added. "It was a lack of mental stability, violent. I don't know what happened exactly."
For Thomas' Knicks it was another black eye for a team already struggling with a 9-17 record. However, Thomas, like Robinson voiced his displeasure at Karl for keeping in four of his starting five near the end of the game.
Thomas spoke to Anthony after the fight at center court.
"I just said to him, 'you're up 20 or you're up 19 with a minute and a half to go, you and Camby really shouldn't be in the game right now.' We had surrendered and those guys shouldn't have been in the game at that point in time," Thomas said. "They were sticking it to us pretty good and having their way with us and I think J.R. Smith had just made one dunk where he reverse it and spun in the air. I thought that Mardy didn't want to have our home crowd see that again, so he fouled him."DEN NYK