Three players were ejected for fighting inside the opening two minutes of Tuesday's NBA game between Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Warriors' Klay Thompson and Minnesota's Jaden McDaniels grabbed hold of each others jerseys, resulting in Thompson's being ripped.
Thompson's team-mate Draymond Green was then dismissed for putting Minnesota centre Rudy Gobert in a headlock.
"It was a bizarre way to start the game," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
"There is no way Klay should have been thrown out of the game.
"He's running up the floor and the guy grabs his jersey and is pulling on him, so Klay pulls back. That was ridiculous."
The incident occurred with one minute 43 seconds on the clock, as Thompson and McDaniels became tangled in transition.
As players intervened to stop the pair, who were later assessed for two technical fouls each, coaches forced Green off Gobert.
On Green's dismissal, Kerr added: "The guys on the bench were telling us Rudy had Klay, so that's why Draymond went at Rudy. That's all I know."
Tuesday was forward Green's second ejection of the season, his first having come against Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
Minnesota claimed their seventh straight victory by claiming a narrow 104-101 win in San Francisco.
The NBA's in-season tournament is in its inaugural season and follows a similar format to European football competitions, with a group stage followed by knockout rounds.