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A spit take on the Lakers’ suspensions

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We have that and more in Monday’s NBA newsletter.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, on national TV, the Lakers and Rockets got into a brawl. It involved Brandon Ingram shoving James Harden in frustration, Rajon Rondo spitting at Chris Paul, Chris Paul booping Rajon Rondo, Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul punching each other in the face, and Brandon Ingram belligerently tossing a long-range fist at Chris Paul.

On Sunday, the NBA handed down suspensions: two games for Chris Paul, three games for Rajon Rondo, and four games for Brandon Ingram.

Thus continues Kiki Vandeweghe’s campaign completely arbitrary punishment.

Ingram deserved a couple of games for the wild punch he threw, but tacking on two more games because he supposedly instigated the whole thing by pushing Harden and coming crazy at ref is unfair. Brandon Ingram isn’t the reason Rondo spit at CP3. Giving Ingram extra time because the situation got out of hand is punishing him for the crimes of other.

Two games for CP3 is absurd. He didn’t swing on Rondo when he got spit on -- he swung only once Rondo started throwing haymakers. The NBA concluded that Rondo spit on CP3. That’s the instigation to the actual fight. Rondo then threw the first punch in the ordeal.

Rondo should be getting punished at least double of what CP3 is getting, if not more. And there’s no way Ingram should have a bigger sanction than Rondo, who has a decent disciplinary record. (This is something that’s supposed to matter.)

Of course, this is all a far cry from the 15 games Carmelo Anthony once got for swinging on some Knicks. But there remains little rhyme or reason to the NBA’s suspension rulings.

Scores Galore

Friday scoreboard

Saturday scoreboard

Hawks 133, Cavaliers 111
Kings 131, Thunder 120
Warriors 98, Nuggets 100
Rockets 112, Clippers 115

Schedule Check

Players’ Only on NBA TV:
Magic at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. ET
Spurs at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. ET

Other games worth checking out:
Pacers at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. ET
Grizzlies at Jazz, 9 p.m. ET
Wizards at Blazers, 10 p.m. ET

Full schedule here.

Links Galore

The Nuggets beat the Warriors on Sunday. Something does indeed seem different about this edition of Denver.

Seerat Sohi on how Kawhi Leonard has already changed minds about the Raptors. Here’s Seerat on how Danny Green can make the big trade work.

Kristian Winfield on Caris LeVert, the Nets’ best kept secret.

On Friday, Timberwolves fans went from booing Jimmy Butler to showering him with MVP chants in two quarters. (I assume there’s a split within the Church of Timberwolf on Butler, and the anti-Jimmies are booing and the pro-Jimmies are cheering.)

Six NBA trade requests, ranked by efficiency.

The game of the season so far had to be Jazz vs. Warriors on Friday. It featured an 81-point half for Utah, a Joe Ingles career game, a massive Steph Curry-led comeback and Jonas Jerebko’s revenge.

I wrote about how insignificant the NBA’s G League select contract effort will be in the grand scheme.

Spencer Dinwiddie wore some custom shoes thanking the ... news media?

What if Mo Bamba isn’t a long-term project?

Trae Young!

Don’t look now but the Kings are fun.

Good news: Russell Westbrook is back. Bad news: the Thunder are 0-3.

Be excellent to each other.