Isaiah Thomas and Rajon Rondo were both ejected before the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans finished the first quarter of Wednesday’s matchup at Smoothie King Center. The game was only Thomas’ second since being traded to the Lakers, and he again came off the bench.
Tempers first began to flare when Rondo purposely raised his elbow contact with Thomas’ face on a 3-pointer made by Kyle Kuzma. The basket counted, Thomas shot one free throw, and the Lakers retained possession.
The two point guards continued to shove one another jostle for position as the referees walked the ball over to the sideline for the in-bounds pass. Rondo drew a second off-ball foul, which was accompanied by double-technicals.
Immediately after the players were separated, Rondo appeared to instigate another conversation with Thomas. One referee interjected, instructing Rondo to walk toward his bench, which he took heed of.
However, a second referee issued another round of double-technicals, resulting in the ejections. That agitated Lakers head coach Luke Walton who unsuccessfully pleaded his case for Thomas to remain in the game.
The Lakers trailed at the end of the first, 46-33, allowing the Pelicans to set a franchise record for most points scored in any quarter.
Last month Rondo had some things to say about IT wanting a tribute video from the Celtics..
Today they got into it and were ejected 👀 pic.twitter.com/nCw0KpEkXo
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 15, 2018
Thomas had three points, one rebound and two assists in a mere five minutes of action. Rondo had been much more impactful, tallying four points, three rebounds and five assists before his night came to an early end.
In the second quarter, Lakers head coach Luke Walton picked up consecutive technical fouls and was ejected for arguing against a whistle that came on a Kyle Kuzma steal attempt.
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