Kelly Oubre Jr. had 17 points and five rebounds off the bench in the Wizards’ 110-103 win at Cleveland on Thursday, Washington’s eighth victory in the last 10 games without point guard John Wall. Oubre, whom Shaquille O’Neal mistakenly referred to as Kelly Ebro during TNT’s halftime show, also untied Cavaliers guard Rodney Hood’s shoes during first-half action and blew a kiss to the Cavaliers’ bench in the fourth quarter.
“Rodney’s my guy, so it was just jokingly fun,” Oubre told reporters of his prank that probably made Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith proud. “But at the end of the day, I was down on my knees and his teammates were like, ‘Yo, tie your shoes,’ so I just messed with him a little bit. … I met him two years ago and ever since then he’s been a solid dude, so I have no beef with him or nothing. It was all fun. He laughed about it. He was trying to snitch on me to the ref, but that’s my guy though.”
The Cavaliers showed footage of the incident on the video board at Quicken Loans Arena during the third quarter.
“He untied my shoes, evidently,” said Hood, who was acquired by the Cavaliers from the Jazz before this month’s trade deadline. “I didn’t recognize it ’til I took off running. We know each other, so he was doing it in a joking way.”
Hood, who was fined $35,000 for smacking a fan’s phone out of his hand after being ejected during a game against the Wizards in D.C. last month, also said referees assessed Washington a delay of game warning retroactively after reviewing video of the incident at halftime. There’s no word yet on whether Oubre will be fined for the stunt. In 2014, the NBA fined J.R. Smith $50,000 for “recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct” after he tried to untie two different opponents’ shoes in the same week.
Oubre’s kiss in the direction of the Cavaliers’ bench came after he drained his third three-pointer of the game to give Washington a 95-89 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Cleveland would pull to within three points in the final minute before the Wizards pulled away.
Oubre has blown kisses after making three-pointers before, including during Washington’s previous game against the Cavaliers, a 106-99 loss at Capital One Arena in December. Wave Papi’s air-smooches land a lot better in Wizards wins. Thursday marked only the second time in 29 home games during LeBron James’s career that the Cavaliers have lost when James, who finished with 32 points, shoots at least 70 percent from the field.
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