A fan was arrested Wednesday night in Boston for throwing a beer onto the court after Celtics star Kemba Walker’s controversial ejection led to a tense scene at TD Garden.
Midway through the third quarter, Walker ran into a hard screen set by San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Walker went down hard. After the play was stopped by a separate foul, Walker approached referee Evan Scott, who was directly behind the play, upset that a foul wasn’t called on Aldridge.
Walker briefly pleaded his case and appeared to yell an expletive at Scott, who assessed two quick technical fouls and ejected Walker. The crowd erupted with boos, and Celtics coach Brad Stevens received a technical for arguing on behalf of Walker.
As the officials sorted out the fouls amid a chorus of boos, a bottle or cup landed near the Spurs bench with a splash and rolled onto the court.
No one was struck by the drink, and the game was delayed briefly while it was cleaned up. Shortly after the game, the team said the fan responsible was identified and arrested, according to ESPN.
Stevens said he apologized to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
“I’m sure the Celtics have already addressed this as an organization, but if not I apologize to the Spurs for what happened out of the stands,” Stevens said. “I told Pop after the game, I’m really sorry that they had to experience that. I hope that person’s not allowed in an NBA arena again.”
The ejection was the first of Walker’s nine-year career and came when the Celtics were trying to mount a rally after falling behind big in the first half. Boston had cut an 18-point halftime deficit down to 76-69 on the possession before Walker was ejected.
After the technical fouls, San Antonio made four of five free throws to start a 23-11 run and regain control. The Spurs pushed the lead back to as much as 20 and weren’t threatened the rest of the way for a 129-114 win.
“I thought I was being nice,” Walker said. “I thought the ref missed a call and just voiced my opinion a little bit. … I guess tonight he felt I said a little too much. It’s his choice. It’s on those guys to make those decisions, so he made it.”