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Raptors forwards Scottie Barnes, Thad Young have tense on-court argument, but they insist it was nothing

January 9th, 2023

The Toronto Raptors earned a hard-fought victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, but some on-court drama between veteran Thaddeus Young and sophomore Scottie Barnes during halftime warmups at Scotiabank Arena raised eyebrows.

Young and Barnes were seen arguing for more than 30 seconds, while teammates Christian Koloko and Juancho Hernangomez attempted to de-escalate the situation. It’s unclear what the two forwards were bickering about.

Both players downplayed the incident following the game, with Barnes saying the two had since hugged things out and are back on good terms. Young echoed that sentiment and said they each expressed their appreciation for one another.

“We just had a disagreement,” Young told reporters. “He actually told me he loved me and I told him I love him back. It’s no different than brothers going back and forth, especially when we’re both passionate about the game.”

The brief scuffle didn’t seem to impact Barnes’ play, as the 21-year-old scored 22 points to go along with nine rebounds. The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year rounded out his box score with four assists, three steals and two blocks. The performance was particularly encouraging because he was able to turn in a strong first half, which has been an issue for him this season.

Young played over nine minutes off the bench on Sunday, chipping in four points and six rebounds. Pascal Siakam led the way for the Raptors with 27 points.

Toronto snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory, but still has a long way to go to get back in the playoff race. The Raptors are 17-23, which is good for 12th in the Eastern Conference. They’re only 1.5 games back of a play-in spot, but 5.5 games behind the Indiana Pacers for the coveted sixth seed.

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