Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics was suspended for two games by the National Basketball Association for starting a fight that spilled into the stands during a 95-83 home loss two nights ago to the Brooklyn Nets.
The scuffle occurred with the Celtics trailing by 16 points with 29 seconds left in the first half at TD Garden in Boston. Rondo, the Celtics’ 6-foot-1 point guard, shoved Kris Humphries in the chest with both hands after the Nets forward fouled Boston’s Kevin Garnett. Humphries also hit Garnett in the face on a drive to the basket.
The 6-foot-9, 235-pound Humphries then grappled with Rondo, who pushed him backward into the seats behind the basket as players, officials and coaches from both teams tried to separate the two. Rondo emerged from the pile without his jersey and was ejected from the game for fighting.
“I don’t think I did anything dirty,” Rondo told reporters yesterday after practice, hours before the punishment was announced by the league. “I didn’t try to start a riot. I don’t think it was more than just a pushing war.”
Humphries also was ejected, while teammate Gerald Wallace was thrown out when he picked up his second technical foul of the game for scuffling with Garnett.
Garnett was assessed a technical and remained in the game, since it was his first.
Wallace was fined $35,000 and Garnett was fined $25,000 for escalating the altercation. The punishments were announced by Stu Jackson, the league’s executive vice president for basketball operations, in a statement released by the NBA.
The ejection ended Rondo’s streak of 37 straight games with at least 10 assists, a run that matched John Stockton for the second longest in NBA history behind Magic Johnson’s 46-game record. Rondo had three assists at the time.
The Celtics, who are in third place behind the Nets and the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division with a 9-6 record, host the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. They visit the Milwaukee Bucks tomorrow and are home to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 5.