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Patrick Beverley digs into Jonas Valanciunas as Valanciunas readies to shoot FT, incites small skirmish

Patrick Beverley is a pest.

A love-him-when-he’s-on-your-team, hate-him-when-he’s-not pest.

In a stunt appreciated only in Minnesota, Beverley crowded Jonas Valanciunas as the Pelicans center prepared to shoot a free throw last night. Valanciunas nudged Beverley away. A small back-and-forth ensued, and the players received a double technical foul.

It’s absurd the referees punished Valanciunas. Beverley had no business in the free-throw circle. Valanciunas’ light push didn’t rate relative to Beverley being such a nuisance. This only encourages the free-throw shooter to react more harshly next time. Presumably, Valanciunas could have given Beverley a much bigger shove and still wound up with only half a double tech.

Valanciunas got the last laugh though, scoring 22 points and grabbing 23 rebounds in New Orleans’ 107-108 win over the Timberwolves.

He made the free throw, too.