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NBA investigating Lakers-Rockets dustup, AP source says

The Rockets' Chris Paul, second from left, is

The Rockets' Chris Paul, second from left, is held back by the Lakers' LeBron James, left, as Paul fights with Lakers' Rajon Rondo, center obscured, during the second half of a game Saturday in Los Angeles. Credit: AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The NBA is looking to see what sanctions Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram should face for their roles in an altercation that marred the final minutes of Saturday's game between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers.

A person with knowledge of the situation said that an NBA investigation into what led to the altercation was underway Sunday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the teams nor the league released any details of the probe.

It's likely that some sort of announcement comes by Sunday night, simply because Paul and the Rockets are scheduled to play in Los Angeles against the Clippers. The league typically delivers sanctions before a player involved in an incident can appear in his next game.

The Lakers next play on Monday at home against San Antonio.

The Rockets were up 109-108 with 4:13 remaining when Ingram fouled Houston's James Harden. Ingram then shoved Harden and confronted referee Jason Phillips after getting a technical foul.

As that played out, Paul and Rondo got into each other's faces. The Rockets said Rondo spit at Paul, one of the things that the NBA was studying Sunday. Video replays showed that Paul appeared to push Rondo in the face, Rondo responded with two attempted punches and Paul then tried to swing back before players from both sides could separate them.

Ingram, Paul and Rondo were all ejected. Houston won 124-115, spoiling the Lakers' home debut for LeBron James.

Paul and Rondo have been adversaries before, going back to 2009 when Paul played for New Orleans and Rondo was with Boston. They got tangled up in the second quarter of a game then, and tensions were high when the game was over — with players like Paul Pierce needing to get between the two before everyone left the court.

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