The Miami Heat picked up their first win of the season on Saturday night in a 112-109 victory over the Raptors at home, but the majority of attention after the game was on an incident involving Caleb Martin and Christian Koloko that saw both get ejected in the third quarter for a fight on the baseline.
After Martin fouled Koloko, knocking him down, he went and stood over the rookie big man, who took exception to that and got up and wrapped up Martin, who then picked Koloko up and drove him into the first row with a tackle.
Benches vacate at Heat vs. Raptors as Christian Koloko and Caleb Martin get into it. pic.twitter.com/80lJhoqJPo
— Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun (@BallySportsFL) October 23, 2022
It was a good job by the other players on the floor and the referees to keep it from becoming anything more than that, but the NBA has one cardinal rule regarding fights ever since the Malice in the Palace, and that is to never let them spill into the stands. As such, it came as little surprise when word came down on Sunday night that Martin — and Heat rookie Nikola Jovic, who left the bench area — was suspended for a game, while Koloko got a fine for his involvement.
The following was just announced: pic.twitter.com/BhnSzARgF3
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) October 24, 2022
Given that Martin was the one who escalated things from some pushing and shoving to things going into the stands where fans are, it’s not surprising he got the worst of the punishment. As for Jovic, it’s an expensive lesson from the league that you cannot leave the bench area during an altercation, no matter what your intentions.
The Raptors and Heat will meet again on Monday in Miami, with the Heat needing to back up their win without Martin as they look for the mini-series sweep.