The Houston Rockets' Carmelo Anthony claims LA Lakers' Rajon Rondo sparked the brawl which marred LeBron James' home debut by spitting in Chris Paul's face.
Rondo and Paul exchanged punches and Lakers forward Brandon Ingram also threw a punch as he joined the fray. All three players were ejected in the final quarter of the Rockets' 124-115 victory.
While none of the video of the incident clearly shows the Lakers point guard spitting, Anthony claims to have witnessed it.
"I was right there," Anthony said. "I was standing right next to Chris.
"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.
"The NBA, they got to do what they got to do. They got to do what's right. I hope they do what's right."
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Paul declined to comment on the incident but Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni did react to the altercation after the game.
"I saw it from a distance. I wasn't getting in there," D'Antoni said. "I had glasses on, I couldn't go in there.
"Yeah, stuff like that, the NBA will sort it out. It was some heated stuff and I'm sure some ... spit was thrown. When you call someone out, it happens."
James, who stepped in to help break up the melee, said he did not see what caused the brawl when questioned in his post-match interview.
"I didn't see anything and I didn't say anything to my team after the game," James said. "I just tried to calm things down, that's all. Play basketball."
The NBA will investigate the brawl and are expected to announce sanctions within 24 hours.
NBA Saturday Results
- Nets 112-132 Pacers
- Raptors 117-113 Wizards
- Celtics 103-101 Knicks
- Magic 115-116 76ers
- Hornets 113-112 Heat
- Pistons 118-116 Bulls
- Timberwolves 136-140 Mavericks
- Suns 91-119 Nuggets
- Spurs 108-121 Trail Blazers
- Rockets 124-115 Lakers
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