In a game that was close right down to the end, the Houston Rockets were able to spoil LeBron James’ first game in the Staples Center with a 124-115 win over LA. The game was back-and-forth through the first 3 1/2 quarters, with the score 109-108 at the 4 minute mark left in the 4th. Unfortunately, the game got out of hand when SF Brandon Ingram of the Lakers was not happy with the way James Harden celebrated his and-one basket.
In what was a clear foul, Harden made an acrobatic layup and showed his pleasure with the shot as he walked past Ingram to take his free throw. Ingram expressed his frustration with a hearty shove of Harden, resulting in a technical foul. He then turned to the ref, and confronted him in what the NBA said was a “hostile manner”. What happened next is the real story.
With the Ingram/Harden altercation came teammates attempting to simmer down the situation… as well as Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo, who were not so much in the peacekeeping mood. The two have a history of despising each other dating back to 2009, when Rondo said “I’m a champion and you’ll never be” and Paul did not take that kindly.
Paul claims that Rondo spat in his face, which led Paul to poke rondo in his eye. After this poke, Rondo hit Paul with a mighty 1-2 combo which was quickly retaliated by CP3. Then came storming Ingram, the cause of all this madness. He went in for a hay-maker right at the back of Paul’s head, which led to him receiving the longest suspension of all the madness. The fight was quickly broken up by LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, both good friends with Paul.
Punishments were promptly handed out, Ingram with 4 games, Rondo with 3, and Paul for just 2. Though I think that these are fair, seeing these fights were a nice change of pace in all honesty. You see fights all the time in other sports, so seeing 3 NBA stars going at it, no holds barred was incredible to me. It was only a matter of time before the Warriors snake-like tendencies led the West to implode. I’m here for NBA to adapt the penalty box rule from hockey, the more action the better for the fans.