The Houston Rockets spoiling the home opener of LeBron James and the Lakers will likely only be the second-leading headline of the night. A skirmish broke out in the middle of the game that has some suspension implications.
The Houston Rockets just picked up their first win of the season, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 124-115 in the Staples Center. There is much more to dissect than the win, though.
In the fourth quarter, a skirmish broke out due to a hard foul by Brandon Ingram (that still should’ve been an and-one, by the way). While it seemed to cool off for a second, before you knew it there were punches being thrown and players being tossed from the game.
So what exactly happened?
Here’s the original feed from ESPN after it seemed to have cool down:
A closer look at things appears that Chris Paul puts a hand in Rondo’s face, which makes Rondo throw a punch at Paul. That didn’t end up too well for Rondo, as he got a nice right hook from CP3 on the returning end.
Chris Paul, Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo have been ejected after throwing blows in L.A. pic.twitter.com/s28TT81eys
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 21, 2018
Brandon Ingram came in late, trying to get in on more of the action. As announcer Mike Breen said, Ingram is generally a mild-mannered guy so seeing him this heated is pretty unusual. He kept going, too, trying to get back into the action while his Lakers teammates, along with Carmelo Anthony, held him back.
But what caused Paul and Rondo to be so upset with each other? The two are historic rivals, but that isn’t the only thing. Apparently, Rondo spat on Paul which caused the hand in his face.
Chris Paul told our broadcast crew this all started because Rajon Rondo spit in his face. When the second replay cycles through you can see Chris wiping his face before he goes at Rondo. pic.twitter.com/2DxPjWdYCu
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 21, 2018
What a mess! Another interesting thing is that several of the feisty players on the court weren’t even really involved. Lance Stephenson and P.J. Tucker were trying to separate players. The Lakers are lucky that Gerald Green wasn’t on the court, though.
Unfortunately, Chris Paul will likely miss some games due to this altercation. You can argue that it was retaliation, but a punch thrown (though epic) is never good. He, Rondo and Ingram will likely be the ones getting suspensions from the league.
How many games could it be? The general guesses around social media are anywhere from 2-5 games. If I had to guess, it will be 3 for Rondo/Paul and 4 for Ingram. We’ll have to see what the league decides because they take punches very seriously.
The next game against the Lakers is December 13 at home, by the way. Mark your calendars.