A brawl has broken out between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center, Saturday night local time.

After James Harden was fouled in the fourth quarter, Brandon Ingram shoved him but any altercation between them here was swiftly cooled. Then, as the match was about to continue, footage suddenly shows the Rockets’ Chris Paul pointing his finger in Lakers’ Rajon Rondo‘s face. It’s unclear, in the footage, what exactly sets them off but punches are thrown soon after.

Lebron James, who was making his home debut, can be seen holding back Paul as coaches and officials quickly break up the brawl.

Ingram, Rondo, and Paul were all ejected following the altercation.

According to the Rockets’ Carmelo Anthony, the fight really broke out because of an alleged “spitting incident”. Anthony says Rondo spat on Paul causing his violent reaction.

“It was bullshit. Plain and simple. Unacceptable,” Anthony told ESPN“That’s unacceptable… That’s blatant disrespect… You don’t even see that in the streets,” 

Rondo denies the spitting.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni backed his team saying: “It was some heated stuff. I’m sure some spit was thrown,” Fox Sports report.

“You cross a line, it happens. The NBA will sort it out, and they’ll do a good job at it.”

In the other corner, Lakers officials have reportedly watched footage of the incident and are supporting Rondo’s words that he did not spit on Paul.

One source, a mutual of both Rondo and Paul, told ESPN that there is a “lot of history between them”. 

You can watch footage from the incident below:

ESPN report that the NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Kiki VanDeWeghe, was actually in the crowd at the time of the brawl. An investigation into the fight will commence tonight with the possibility of a suspension as soon as Sunday, local time.

Source: Fox Sports
Image: AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez