Utah Jazz fans didn't exactly handle themselves with the highest of class as the minutes ticked away in Game 4 at the EnergySolutions Arena Monday.
It all started with about four minutes remaining in the game following a time-out, when a coin and a soft mini basketball were hurled down on the floor in the direction of Spurs guard Bruce Bowen.
That was just the precursor.
At the end of the game, the amount of debris being thrown was so bad, when ESPN sideline reporter Michelle Tafoya tried interviewing Spurs forward Tim Duncan, coach Gregg Popovich grabbed all of his players and quickly ushered them into the locker room.
Tafoya said that has never happened with Popovich before in all the years dealing with him.
When asked what was thrown, Bowen said, "Carmex. I like Carmex, but I don't know if I want to use it. I don't know where it's been."
In all, after several eyewitness accounts from media members, EnergySolutions Arena security guards and ushers, here's a list of some of the items that were tossed: empty water bottles, coins, wrappers, Carmex, towels and soft mini basketballs.
Some of these items were thrown at Spurs players as they left the floor, while others were thrown at referees Steve Javie, Joe DeRosa and Ken Mauer.
Two fans were taken away in handcuffs after an incident near the portal where the refs left the arena. One of those men was eventually cited for throwing a water bottle, according Salt Lake City lieutenant Steve Cheever, who added it's not that uncommon for that to happen.Jazz fans directed a great deal of their frustration at the refs throughout the game, as chants of "ref you suck" could be heard throughout the arena at least a dozen times.
NOT AN ISSUE: Entering Tuesday's critical game four, a lot of talk centered around the condition of Jazz guard Deron Williams, who was listed as probable with the stomach flu.
The Spurs had their own concerns, more specifically the health of guard Michael Finley, whose back has stiffened up periodically on him throughout the playoffs.If he was ailing, it sure didn't show, as he finished with 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting in 30 minutes of play. Eleven of his points came in the first half.
NOTHING BUT PRAISE: Count Spurs coach Gregg Popovich as one of the guys who always envisioned Carlos Boozer would emerge into an NBA star.
Popovich was one of Boozer's assistant coaches on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team that won a bronze medal."He is a very talented young man. He is physical. He is a hard worker ... He has got a good post-up game, but he also has a great touch," said Popovich, prior to Monday's Game 4. "So that's a great combination for somebody who is as big as he is. On top of all that, he can run the floor. He is not limited in that sense. He has got great agility, He has a knack for the game. He understands spacial relationships and what everybody else is doing on the court."
LAKER BOOZER: Bemoaning various player personnel moves his team did not make in recent years, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant as quoted in Sunday's Orange County Register reaffirmed the notion that there really was substance to all those trade-talk rumors involving Jazz All-Star Carlos Boozer and the Lakers dating back to 2005."Baron Davis is a good friend of mine, Carlos Boozer is a good friend of mine, Ron Artest is someone I've known since I was a kid ... those are guys we could've gotten," Bryant told the California newspaper. "For whatever reason, it didn't happen."
Comment on this story
EXCUSED ABSENCE: Utah guard Derek Fisher wasn't available for postgame comments Monday, having been excused by Utah Jazz senior vice president of basketball operations, Kevin O'Connor.He was scheduled to leave immediately after the game for a previously scheduled follow-up appointment regarding his 10-month-old daughter, Lathum.