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#pounditSunday, December 5, 2021

Video: Suns and Lakers scuffle after chaotic play

Lakers Suns skirmish

If Game 1 is any indication, the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers are set to play an intense and physical Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Things got heated early in the fourth quarter after a LeBron James missed free throw. James and Chris Paul got tangled up going for the rebound, causing James to fall hard and seemingly hurt his shoulder. Lakers guard Alex Caruso and Suns guard Cameron Payne still went after the loose ball. Caruso got there first as the play was whistled for a foul on James, but Payne still essentially checked Caruso to the ground.

Caruso took exception and shoved Payne, leading Payne to throw the basketball at Caruso. Lakers center Montrezl Harrell promptly intervened, starting a scuffle between both teams.

Harrell came all the way in from the other end of the court to back up Caruso.

Payne received two technical fouls for his role in the skirmish and was ejected. Caruso and Harrell both received one technical. James, meanwhile, remained in the game despite the hard foul and the pain he was in.

Sunday’s game had already been physical and marked by a notable injury even before this. With the Suns looking like the better team, perhaps the situation will help fire the Lakers up going forward.

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