A fight broke out in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Rockets-Lakers game at Staples Center, and a disrespectful gesture may have been the leading cause behind the escalated tension.
It took place after Brandon Ingram fouled James Harden, who was driving to the basket. Ingram gave Harden a big shove afterward, which resulted in a skirmish. Still, it first appeared that cooler heads would prevail, as they usually do.
That wasn’t what happened, though, as Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo went face to face to share some words. Paul then appeared to be upset about something, so he put his fingers in Rondo’s face, to which the Lakers guard responded by taking a swing at his opponent. Paul then threw a punch of his own that hit Rondo in the jaw. And then, out of nowhere, Ingram came flying in and punched CP3 in the back of the head.
Paul told the ESPN broadcast crew that Rondo spit in his face during the heated altercation. That could be why CP3 put his fingers in Rondo’s face. A video does appear to show Paul wiping his face after he was separated by LeBron James.
No matter what started the fight, it’s likely that the league will be handing down suspensions for Paul, Rondo and Ingram as a result.