Lakers guard Ronnie Price was ejected from Los Angeles' 109-102 road loss to New Orleans on Wednesday after delivering a flagrant foul to Pelicans guard Austin Rivers.
With a little more than nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the Pelicans leading 92-75, Rivers beat Price with a crossover dribble and attacked the paint from the left angle. As Rivers rose to attempt a running layup, Price swung his right hand hard across Rivers' neck in a misguided attempt to block the shot from behind, causing Rivers to crash hard to the court. Replays showed there was significant contact.
Upon a video review, the officials determined that Price's foul was a flagrant foul two, a designation that applies to contact that is deemed "unnecessary and excessive" and which requires an immediate ejection. Price departed with zero points (on 0-for-2 shooting) and three assists in 17 minutes. The NBA league office will review the play, as it does with all flagrant fouls, to determine whether it warrants an additional fine and/or suspension. In this case, an additional sanction seems unlikely given Price's swing was careless but not intentionally malicious.Rivers was able to remain in the game, and finished with eight points (on 3-for-6 shooting) and four assists in 20 minutes.
New Orleans was led by Anthony Davis, who scored a team-high 25 points (on 12-for-16 shooting) and added 12 rebounds and six blocks. Tyreke Evans chipped in 19 points (on 8-for-16 shooting), 11 assists and five rebounds in the win.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with a game-high 33 points (on 10-for-28 shooting), five assists and four rebounds. Carlos Boozer added 16 points (on 6-for-13 shooting) and six rebounds in a losing effort.
The Pelicans improved to 4-3 while the Lakers dropped to 1-7.