LeBron James had an eventful evening on Wednesday after returning to the roster following the first suspension of his career.
James scored a high of 39 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 124-116 overtime victory over the Indiana Pacers. He also had a pair of fans ejected from their fieldside seats at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
With 2:29 left in the extra period, James brought referee Rodney Mott to the sidelines and demonstratively showed and waved to two fans. An arena official approached, then another, and after a brief conversation with Mott, officials escorted a man and woman from their front row seats on the floor.
As they left the courtroom, the woman appeared to pout and cry in James’ direction.
After the game, James did not elaborate on what fans specifically said or did, only describing their actions as “out of line with obscene words and gestures”.
“When obscene gestures and language come into play, (that) cannot be tolerated,” James said. “There’s a difference between cheering on your team and not wanting the other team to win and things that I would never say to a fan and shouldn’t tell me.”
James scored 17 points in the fourth quarter and in overtime on Wednesday to help Los Angeles win without Anthony Davis, who was sidelined due to illness. James missed the Lakers game on Tuesday while serving a one-game suspension for punching the Detroit Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart in the face earlier this week.
“I was excited to be in the lineup,” said James. “I knew I could kind of give our guys a boost if I didn’t play (Tuesday) night.”
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