After months of waiting, LeBron James finally made his Staples Center debut with the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.
Naturally, the energy at the Staples Center was electric — Lakers fans couldn’t help themselves.
While James was the main focus in the battle against the Houston Rockets, a fight late in the fourth quarter stole the attention away from his home debut — and resulted in three ejections.
With four minutes left in the game, Rockets guard James Harden drew a foul while driving to the hoop, making a layup over Brandon Ingram to put the Rockets up by a point.
Ingram, though, didn’t like that and quickly shoved Harden in the back, drawing a technical foul.
While a scrum quickly assembled in the lane, and Ingram still chirping, Lance Stephenson ran in, grabbed Ingram and walked him away from the situation — likely in an effort to deescalate it.
Suddenly, with players spread out across the court, Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul were face to face in the lane.
Paul could be seen pointing his finger into Rondo’s face, shoving him slightly. Rondo responded, throwing a punch. Paul then threw a punch back.
Ingram, seeing what had happened, ran into the pile and threw a punch of his own, too.
Paul said after that the brawl started because Rondo spit in his face. While that has yet to be seen on video, Paul can be seen wiping off his face right before the two started fighting.
Ingram, Paul and Rondo were all ejected from the game after officials reviewed the incident, and will likely face fines from the league in the coming days.
NBA fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the wild scenes:
— Kah (@KaseemBristow) October 21, 2018
— I||I ɴᴇʟsᴏɴ ᴘʟᴜᴍᴇʏ I||I Ground Pounder (@Ticklematter) October 21, 2018
I swear, the Lakers-Rockets brawl was one of the highlights of my night 😂😂
— Max Wheeler (@maxwheeler23) October 21, 2018
— DJ L-Gee /aka/ ANOTHER MIXTAPE (@DJLGee) October 21, 2018
— André Imbayago (@TheeAndre) October 21, 2018
The Rockets held on to their slight lead after the fight to take the 124-115 win, spoiling James’ opener in Los Angeles.