- A brawl broke out at the Lakers-Rockets game on Saturday night, with Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, and Brandon Ingram all eventually being thrown out of the game.
- The Rockets contest that Paul was provoked by Rondo when the Lakers guard spit in his face and have provided the league with video to support their case.
- Suspensions are likely to be announced soon for all three players.
LeBron James first game as a Laker in Los Angeles did not go according to plan.
With just four minutes remaining in Saturday night’s game between the Lakers and Houston Rockets, a fight broke out as tensions between guards Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo boiled over. Punches were thrown, and James was forced to shift from playmaker to peacemaker, helping to separate and de-escalate the brawl.
Rondo and CP3 threw hands in Lakers-Rockets brawl ???? pic.twitter.com/Z0eWmxDdTH
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 21, 2018
Paul, Rondo, and Ingram all threw punches and were all ejected after the referees stopped the game to break down how to allocate punishments after the dust had settled.
Replays show the inciting incidents between Rondo and Paul, with Rondo throwing a left hand at Paul after Paul shoved a finger in Rondo’s face. The Rockets claimed that Rondo spit in Paul’s face, prompting retaliation – a charge that is being investigated in slow motion.
This is one of the pieces of video the Rockets are sending the league office as the NBA investigates last night's fight at Staples Center and determines discipline. pic.twitter.com/YKw7JF13cP
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 21, 2018
Whatever case Rondo's making, NBA is evaluating a video clip captured courtside that shows saliva/spit shooting from Rondo's mouth onto Chris Paul's face. It appears Rondo will have to sell league on fact that it was unintentional — and that appears to be a tough case to make. https://t.co/ddrhhHuxnN
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 21, 2018
The brawl was likely especially awkward for James, who is good friends with Paul and newly teammates with Rondo and Ingram. As for his part in the spat, James said “I just tried to calm things down, that’s all. Play basketball.”
The NBA is investigating the brawl further, and suspensions will likely be doled out soon.
When the action on the court finally calmed down, the Rockets would go on to win 124-115 to drop the Lakers to 0-2 to start the season.