THE Los Angeles Lakers finally showed some fight to hold on to a big lead and even pull away in the second half against the Miami Heat on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).
But for Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, the fight was a little more obvious.
Clarkson was all smiles while talking to reporters after watching the Lakers pull away with a 27-point beating of the Heat, 127-100.
“Doing a really good job of moving the ball. Continue to play well, got in the paint, got stops, we turned up the intensity in the second half,” he explained on how the Lakers managed to build and increase a big lead en route to a win this time around after blowing huge leads in the past, particularly in their last loss to Portland.
But in the third quarter against Miami, Clarkson wasn’t smiling at all, and was ready to get on a brawl with Heat guard Goran Dragic after a shoving match.
Both players were fighting for position on a rebound play, and collided repeatedly until Clarkson shoved Dragic to the floor and the two men had to be separated before any punch was thrown.
Clarkson squared up on Dragic ???????? pic.twitter.com/BLJNyJ2NaM— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 7, 2017
Here's the incident from another angle.
Clarkson and Dragic were both ejected for the scuffle, and the Fil-American Lakers guard was calm and composed in explaining what happened.
“Heat of the game. Stuff happens through the game. We’re not gonna back down from guys. We out here playing hard,” he said.
“Hopefully he got me for Sunday,” Clarkson added with a smile on what his coach Luke Walton told him after the game.
The Lakers reserve was not surprised with the turn of events, saying he didn’t know what sparked the incident but he was just ready to reciprocate as he’s not the type to back down.
“When he switched on me, he kinda like elbowed me in the stomach a little bit, and I kinda shoved him a little bit out the lane, then he came back and kinda sunk an elbow on my chest. From there, I pushed him as well,” he recalled.
It’s the first ejection for the young Laker guard’s career, but Clarkson shrugged it off, especially as the Lakers came out with the win. However, he’s anxious on the consequences and hopes for no suspensions as team management will find out on Saturday.
“[It bothers me] a little bit if I’m missing games. But for sure, they handled business after that so it was good for us to get that win, get that hump off our back,” he said.
“I’m not sure. They’ll call me tomorrow. I talked to Mitch [Kupchak]. They’ll let me know tomorrow,” Clarkson added on whether he expects to play against Orlando on Sunday.