Tuesday's game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors figured to be fairly uneventful. Five of the game's best players were out with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet injured, so it should have been a somewhat quiet night in Tampa Bay as the Lakers begin an East Coast road trip.
Instead? Things got testy very quickly. It all started on a first-quarter fastbreak by OG Anunoby. He was fouled hard by Lakers guard Dennis Schroder, and teammate Gary Trent Jr. didn't take kindly to that. Montrezl Harrell came in to defend his teammate, both teams got into a scuffle, and when it was all said and done, Harrell and Anunoby had been ejected for their parts in the fracas.
Both Trent and Harrell threw shoves, but Trent seemed to escape an ejection as he was not the instigator. Anunoby was, at least from Toronto's perspective, so each team lost one player. All told, the Lakers are slightly better equipped to handle this tradeoff. They had a big lead at the time of the fight, and while they rely on their stars more than the Raptors do, they have more depth at the end of their bench. The Raptors are now down to only two of their best five players: Trent and Siakam.
Things calmed down from there and the game moved on. The Lakers and Raptors have no preexisting rivalry, and the players involved haven't fought before. All it took was one physical play to set both teams off, but thankfully, the emotions seem to have run their course.