(Los Angeles, CA) – Not the kind of debut that he wanted, I’m sure. But, you can’t control other people’s actions. Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul and Brandon Ingram are probably wishing they had a better grip on their emotions though as the three found themselves ejected, fined and most likely suspended following a wild brawl that broke out during LeBron James’ home court debut as a Laker.
It was late in the 4th quarter, Rockets up by 1 (109-108) when James Harden was driving to the basket and gets fouled by Brandon Ingram. While Paul, Harden and others pleaded with the officials to count the basket, Ingram gave Harden a hard shove. Carmelo Anthony steps in to help deescalate the situation while Brandon Ingram continues his rage and gets in the face of a referee.
At that point, his teammate Lance Stephenson gathers Ingram and forces him away from the incident. Meanwhile, Chris Paul is continuing his debate with a ref and you casually see Rajon Rondo make his way over to Paul and seemingly confronts him.
Now, here’s where things get sketchy. From our angle it looks as if Paul and Rondo exchange words and Paul strategically uses one or two fingers to make contact with Rondo’s face and pushes him out of his personal space. His reasoning behind the mush, Chris says Rajon spit in his face. Which is flat out the most disgusting, demeaning and disrespectful act any human could do to another. It’s nasty. And you will likely find yourself in a subsequent altercation, if you do it. Punches are thrown between the two (in front of Floyd Mayweather who I’m sure got a kick out of it courtside) and Brandon Ingram reinserts himself in the drama with a sneak punch from behind.
End result….Paul, Rondo and Ingram are ejected.
Back to the game, MVP James Harden, who had 23 at the half, continued his domination grabbing 36 on the game and leading the Rockets to victory. Paul had 28. The Rockets had 4 players in double digits while the Lakers led by James with 24 had 7.
Rajon Rondo was en route to a triple double (13p-10r-7a) when he was thrown out of the game. Chris Paul was en route to a triple double as well adding 10 assists and 7 rebounds to his 28 points when he was booted. Final score, Rockets 124-115.
Post game: When asked how he felt the fight affected the team for the remainder of the game? LeBron James said, “We were right there. It was one point game and um…we had opportunities to win the game.”
One one game suspension is probable for all three, but it could be more.
(Atlanta, GA) – The Atlanta Hawks got back on the win column at Philips Arena defeating the Houston Rockets 112-97 . Coming in Dwight Howard dispelled rumors that he and James Harden had beef. But he sure played like he was sending a clear message to the Rockets and Atlanta….Daddy’s home! It was a good one in the ATL as Millsap, Howard and Kent Bazemore got to work early jumping out on Houston and they never looked back.
Houston didn’t help themselves with more than 20 turnovers and a number of missed shots from the arc. I don’t think it would’ve mattered though had those stats been reversed. The Atlanta Hawks wanted to give D-12 a win and stick it Harden and the Rockets and they did just that.
Atlanta needed this win after losing 2 in a row (Lakers and Wizards) but as you can see with this new look ATL team, they don’t dwell on the past. Atlanta got back to their style of basketball and added some flare too with Dwight Howard posterized KJ McDaniels with a block that was clearly all ball but the refs called a foul.
Post game Howard was asked about the hug he gave the ref who made the call. Howard said he admitted that he made the wrong call and Howard was sure to let him know that everyone makes mistakes. lol. Kent Bazemore also resurfaced scoring 20 points. Paul Millsap was among the double double tribe with 23 points and 11 rebounds with Dwight Howard’s 20 points 14 boards and Dennis Schroder’s 17 points 12 Assists.
As for the Hawks bouncing back after a tough loss against the Wizards, Coach Bud says, “You’ve been around our group. You know there’s a lot of character, a lot of fiber. when you lose and you don’t play and compete the way you’d like to and expect to, and what we’ve become accustomed to, you can’t wait to get out and play again. It’s just a testament to their character, how they’re made up, how they’re built.”
Let’s take a look at the stats:
Houston hurt themselves with 25 TOs they also missed a lot of shots from the 3 going 12-3 and offensively they just weren’t hitting. Harden led the Rockets with 30. 24 of those were from the 1st half. Atlanta on the other hand shot 52.9% from the field with Kent Bazemore hitting 20, Millsap 23, Howard 20, Korver 10 and Schroder 17. Up next the Hawks will head to Cleveland to take on Lebron and the Cavs.