Rajon Rondo has strenuously denied spitting at and on Chris Paul, which the Rockets point guard alleged began the punch-filled fireworks in LeBron James' home debut at Staples Center on Saturday night.
The penalty was costliest to Paul, who was fined a total of US$491,782 (NZ$746,000). Paul then threw a punch of his own that hit Rondo in the jaw.
It took place after Brandon Ingram fouled James Harden, who was driving to the basket. Paul has been suspended for poking at and making contact with the face of Rondo, and throwing multiple punches at him.
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The Rockets prevailed against the Lakers 124-115 on James Harden's 36 points but that wasn't the main focus of the night. D'Antoni notes that Paul apologized to his teammates and he didn't what it to happen.
Before the extreme close-up, you can see Paul wipe his face as Rondo turned his head, and that's when Paul shoved his finger in Rondo's face and the punching started.
"I don't know, I might rest him (on a) back-to-back", D'Antoni said.
An NBA statement said all three had thrown punches. Ingram will end his suspension on Monday, Oct. 29, coming back to the court against the Timberwolves.
"I understand that we're going to have some struggles, some early struggles".