The Los Angeles Lakers took part in another fiery game that involved a player’s ejection when they notched a 143-138 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
A few days after Patrick Beverley got thrown out of the clash with the Phoenix Suns for shoving Deandre Ayton in the back, Spurs center Zach Collins received a flagrant 2 foul for elbowing Russell Westbrook on Saturday. Collins’ hit seemed unintentional as he was fooled by Westbrook’s pump fake and jumped up before striking the Lakers guard in the forehead on his way down.
But the hit was bad enough that blood gushed out of Westbrook’s head, and the referees decided the incident was enough to eject Collins. The officials also gave the 2017 NBA MVP a technical foul for his initial reaction to the hit — he immediately got up and angrily lounged toward the Spurs big man after falling to the ground.
But after the game, Westbrook said he wasn’t sure why exactly the referees called a technical on him, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I was confused on that one myself. I wasn’t sure why I got one but you know, I’ll check with the league and talk to them about it and we’ll figure out why that was. Maybe because I probably hopped up or something. Not sure. (Laughing). Maybe I got up too fast or something? I don’t know. But I’m going to check and find out.”
Asked about his intention to confront Collins right after getting hit, Westbrook said he reacted on the spur of the moment — acknowledging his Lakers teammates looked out for him and tried to deescalate the situation:
“Probably so. Yeah. You know, initially reaction obviously is to hop up and kind of see what’s going on. But obviously now, once I’m bleeding all over the place, kind of calm down and take care of that, and kind of move forward.”
As Westbrook got up, blood dripping down his face, LeBron James pulled him back as the guard charged at Collins. Then, James grabbed a towel and pushed it against his teammate’s forehead to stop the bleeding.
Westbrook headed to the locker room after the altercation but was able to return to the game and help L.A. chalk up its seventh win of the season.
Lakers were ‘cautious’ sitting out Anthony Davis & expect him to return against Pacers
In the second of the back-to-back matchup with the Spurs, the Lakers already played without Anthony Davis, who sat out with a calf contusion. However, head coach Darvin Ham explained the Purple and Gold held the 29-year-old forward out of caution.
Reports claim Davis should be able to return to the lineup for Monday’s clash with the Indiana Pacers.
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