NBA notebook: Rondo denies spitting at Paul

Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo remains steadfast that he did not intentionally spit at Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul on Saturday, which led to a brawl and suspensions for both players and Lakers forward Brandon Ingram.

FILE PHOTO: Oct 20, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) warms up before the game against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

“This is the only time I’m going to address this,” Rondo told ESPN on Tuesday. “I had a mouthpiece in my mouth and I (was) exasperated because I was about to tell him to ‘get the (expletive) out of here.’”

After Rondo and Paul threw punches, Rondo was suspended three games for the incident while Paul was banned for two. Ingram got a four-game suspension for his later involvement in the incident. Rondo was critical of Paul and the league’s decision.

FILE PHOTO: Oct 20, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) warms up before action against the Orlando Magic at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

“Of course, the NBA went with (Paul’s) side because I got three games and he got two,” Rondo told ESPN. “Everyone wants to believe Chris Paul is a good guy. They don’t know he’s a horrible teammate. They don’t know how he treats people.”

—Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons did not play Tuesday at Detroit due to tightness in his back.

Simmons was listed as doubtful after he did not participate in the morning shootaround. Without Simmons, Markelle Fultz started at point guard, sharing duties with T.J. McConnell.

—Chicago Bulls point guard Kris Dunn will miss four to six weeks after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

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Dunn was injured Monday during a loss to the Dallas Mavericks. He underwent an MRI exam on Tuesday to determine the severity, and the team confirmed his timeframe to return in a press release.

The injury occurred during Dunn’s season debut. He missed the team’s first two games due to the birth of his first child.

—Denver Nuggets starting forward Will Barton will be sidelined at least six weeks following surgery to repair core and hip muscle injuries, the team announced.

Barton was injured during the Nuggets’ win over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday. He had an MRI on Sunday, missing Denver’s win over the Golden State Warriors that night to improve to 3-0.

Torrey Craig started in Barton’s place against the Warriors. Second-year forward Juancho Hernangomez will also be in the mix while Barton is out, along with small forward Trey Lyles.

—Field Level Media

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