Marquese Chriss follows Bismack Biyombo down the tunnel after late ejections in the Suns’ Game 5 win over the Mavericks

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PHOENIX — Dallas Mavericks forward Marquese Chriss followed Suns center Bismack Biyombo off the field and through the tunnel after the pair were ejected late in Phoenix’s 110-80 Game 5 win on Tuesday night, forcing the security personnel to sprint after Chriss and retrieve him before a confrontation could take place.

With the Suns leading by 28 points with 2.3 seconds remaining, Chriss fouled Biyombo on a lob. Biyombo turned to approach Chriss, and Chriss pushed his arm away.

Referee David Guthrie called a technical foul on each player and summarily sent them off. Biyombo left the field through the appropriate tunnel, heading for the Suns locker room. Chriss followed the same tunnel shortly after. He was supposed to exit through the tunnel on the other side of the pitch, leading to the visitors’ dressing room. Chriss surely knew the difference between the two paths, having played the first two seasons of his career at Phoenix from 2016 to 2018.

Several security personnel from both teams, as well as Dallas backup center Boban Marjanovic, followed Chriss in an effort to prevent further incidents.

Shortly after, Chriss was escorted through the tunnel and driven across the field to the Mavs locker room.

“I get the competitiveness from the game, but we’re just trying to win the game,” Suns coach Monty Williams said after the game. “Everything that happens is extra-curricular, I have nothing to say about it. I understand how hectic it can be. We just want to win the game and that’s it. We’re trying to get a one more win, and that’s our focus right now.”

Chriss and Biyombo did not speak to reporters afterward.

Prior to the ejection, Biyombo was a valuable contributor off the bench, with Phoenix trailing Dallas by 20 points in the 21 minutes he played. Biyombo, who joined the team on a 10-day contract in early January before signing a contract for the rest of the season, finished with seven points on 3-for-5 shooting and seven rebounds.

It came after Biyombo received DNPs in two of the first four games of the series.

“It’s just a decision,” Williams said of the rotation change, awarding the lion’s share of backup center minutes to Biyombo over JaVale McGee. “You don’t know how it’s going to be. But when we watched some of the matchups and the energy that ‘Biz’ brings to the game…we just felt like [his] energy would allow us to play energy games.

“He didn’t impress you with his scoring and that kind of stuff, but his attention to detail, his ability to play with multiple efforts in defense and then he can finish around the basket, he’s tough.”

With Biyombo ejected, Suns forward Cameron Johnson entered the game to take the free throws Biyombo would have received from Chriss’ foul. Johnson hit both to give the Suns their final 30-point margin, marking the fifth 30-point playoff win in franchise history, including the second straight playoffs in which they have achieved the feat. , according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

The Suns lead the Western Conference Semifinals series 3-2 against the Mavs, with a chance to close Thursday in Dallas and advance to the conference finals for the second straight season.

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