New York forward Bobby Portis took a wild swing in an effort to block a shot on Tuesday night at the Staples Center. It that resulted in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope flying to the ground, the Knick getting ejected in a 117-87 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and a hefty fine getting sent his way.
Caldwell-Pope was breaking to the hoop midway through the second quarter when Portis came from behind and swung wildly, likely in an attempt to hit the ball away. He was well off the mark, and connected squarely with Caldwell-Pope’s head as he was in the air after winding back, knocking him to the ground.
Portis was eventually assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected from the game. The NBA announced Wednesday that it had fined Portis $25,000 for recklessly making contact above the shoulders with an airborne shooter.
A small scuffle also ensued under the basket after the incident as Caldwell-Pope remained on the floor in clear pain. Several Lakers left the bench to walk under the hoop, and both LeBron James and Rajon Rondo could be seen talking with Portis on the baseline.
Caldwell-Pope walked off the floor under his own power and went to the locker room for further evaluation. He was cleared after going through concussion protocol and returned to the game near the end of the third quarter. The 26-year-old finished the night with 15 points off the bench, shooting 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from behind the arc.
The Lakers, after a slow first quarter, surged ahead in the final minutes before halftime to grab a 17-point halftime lead. By then, the lead was too big for the Knicks to overcome as the Lakers cruised to the 30-point win.
James led the Lakers with 31 points in the win, shooting 9-of-19 from the field, and Kyle Kuzma added 16 points off the bench. Anthony Davis finished with just five points and six rebounds, and left the game early after taking a nasty fall directly on his tailbone. He did not return, however X-rays came back negative.
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