Archie Goodwin and Markieff Morris get into a fight on the bench!
— NBA On Def Pen (@NBAOnDefPen) February 11, 2016
It’s just another story of frustration for a struggling Phoenix Suns team.
It didn’t take long to mount Wednesday in a relatively successful first quarter against the 48-4 Golden State Warriors. Guard Archie Goodwin and forward Markieff Morris got in a shoving match during the first timeout of the 112-104 Suns loss and needed to be separated.
Goodwin was seen being calmed down by assistant coach Corey Gaines and later, injured point guard Ronnie Price.
After the game, interim coach Earl Watson pointed out Goodwin lived with Morris at one point and he did not have a divided locker room.
“That’s nothing,” Morris told the media. “That’s part of being a leader, being a big brother. Sometimes little brothers and big brothers get into it. That’s what happened, wrong place, wrong time.
“Big brothers shake little brothers up sometimes. It happens,” he added. “No it doesn’t look good but nothing I do looks good. It’s between us. We’re a family, always. That’s my little guy.”
Goodwin likewise downplayed the incident.
“We family. It happens. I love him like a brother, he loves me. That’s all there is to say about it,” Goodwin said.
The scuffle came after Goodwin opened the game in less-than-impressive fashion — his late transition defense led to an open Klay Thompson three on a delayed fastbreak heading into the timeout.
Goodwin was benched but returned in the second quarter, while Morris continued his strong start to finish with 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists in Phoenix’s final game heading into the All-Star break.
Goodwin’s fourth-quarter flurry of scoring made him the Suns’ leading scorer with 20 points.
“There’s one point those two lived together,” interim coach Earl Watson said of the scuffle. “The situation is this: This team has a lot of passion, we want to fight, we want to win. We expect everyone to play their hardest, and we expect everyone to be accountable for how they play. We have to learn — and we will learn how to continue to grow — and we have to control our emotions. Other than that, those two are really close.
“The team is not split. Those two are the closest on the team.”