The Los Angeles Lakers got back in the win column with their 127-100 victory over the Miami Heat, but the biggest story coming out of the game had to do with a scuffle between Jordan Clarkson and Heat guard Goran Dragic.
In the third quarter the two exchanged shoves under the basket with Clarkson giving Dragic a forearm to the neck area before the two were separated. Both players were ejected in what turned out to be a turning point in the game as the Lakers pulled away after the fact.
Afterwards, Clarkson spoke about the incident, basically downplaying it as just something that happens in the heat of the game:
“It’s the heat of the game. Stuff happens through the game and we’re not going to back down from guys. We’re out here playing hard and stuff happens. [It bothers me] a little bit if I’m missing games, but they [Lakers] handled business after that, so it was good for us to get that win.”
Likewise Lakers head coach Luke Walton didn’t think it was that big of a deal either:
“A couple of players pushing each other, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. You never want a fight to happen but whatever, keep the game moving and let’s go.”
The more important question is whether the league thinks it was a big deal. As Clarkson pointed out there is a chance the NBA suspends him for the incident. He will definitely be fined, but there’s also a chance he misses a game, which would not be ideal for a Lakers team that seems to be turning the corner.
Clarkson is enjoying another great season as part of the Lakers’ amazing bench unit that is the highest scoring in the NBA. Both he and the rest of the Lakers hope the league sees the scuffle the way they do and Clarkson will be allowed to suit up on Sunday against the Orlando Magic.
**All quotes courtesy of Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters**