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Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Ingram Suspended for Roles in Fight

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2018

Houston Rockets' Chris Paul, far left, is held back by Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, second from left, after Paul fought with Lakers' Rajon Rondo, far right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Rockets won, 124-115. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo and Lakers forward Brandon Ingram are all going to miss some time.

The NBA suspended Paul two games, Rondo three games and Ingram four games Sunday following their brawl during Saturday's showdown at Staples Center, via Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

Howard Beck @HowardBeck

NBA suspensions for last night's fracas: Brandon Ingram, 4 games Rajon Rondo, 3 games Chris Paul, 2 games https://t.co/cnovPAR6a9

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press shared the financial implications of the suspensions:

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

The three suspensions will lead to $840,000 in lost salary. Ingram loses $158,817 Rondo loses $186,207 Paul loses $491,781 So CP3 gets the lightest sentence, and hit the hardest. (Apologies for the hasty math earlier. Credit to @albertnahmad for telling me that I'm a moron.)

It took a lot to overshadow LeBron James' home debut in a Lakers jersey, but the melee that broke out with four minutes and 13 seconds remaining in Houston's 124-115 victory did the trick. All three players were ejected following a fight that saw Ingram shove James Harden, Paul stick a finger in Rondo's face, Rondo punch Paul and Ingram throw additional punches.

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Chris Paul, Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo have been ejected after throwing blows in L.A. https://t.co/s28TT81eys

James helped break up the fight by bear-hugging Paul and moving him away from the action.

On top of all that, there was the question of whether Rondo instigated the altercation with the Rockets point guard by spitting in his face.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the NBA was investigating a video Rockets staff shot that seemed to catch Rondo spitting at his counterpart even though the Lakers point guard said he didn't.

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Rachel Nichols of ESPN shared the video in question:

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

This is one of the pieces of video the Rockets are sending the league office as the NBA investigates last night's fight at Staples Center and determines discipline. https://t.co/YKw7JF13cP

Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony said Rondo did spit on Paul, per Josh Peter of USA Today: "That's unacceptable. You don't do that. You don't do that, to nobody. In sports, on the streets, that's blatant disrespectful right there."

Wojnarowski noted NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe attended the game and spearheaded the league's investigation.

That investigation uncovered enough evidence to levy suspensions for all three primary actors in the brawl, meaning two of the Western Conference's contenders will be without key playmakers for the upcoming stretch of the schedule.

The silver lining for both sides is it is still early in the season, but the absence of Rondo and Ingram hinders Los Angeles' development as the players grow accustomed to playing alongside James.

Houston can still turn to Harden to initiate much of the offense in a scoring point guard role, while the Lakers have Lonzo Ball to handle the ball and James and Kyle Kuzma as forwards.

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