Raptors Amir Johnson ejected after struggling with ref over ball, throwing mouthpiece at him

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Amir Johnson, your suspension is coming. You may want to ask Rajon Rondo the good places to hang out in Mexico during your time off.

Watch the video above and you’ll see why. Toronto was down double digits in the third quarter when Portland’s J.J. Hickson drains the first of two free throws and as often happens Johnson grabs the ball and hands it to the referee.

Then Johnson won’t let go of the basketball and he and referee David Jones get into a struggle over who can hold the ball. A silly struggle. Jones gets frustrated, ejects Johnson, and then the Raptor forward flies into a rage. And he throws his mouthpiece and hits Jones.

After the game, Johnson appologized admitted that was stupid (but wouldn’t take all the blame), via Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated (he had he video, as well).

“I think [it was childish] between both of us,” Johnson said. “We were both wrestling with the ball. That was kind of childish. We both either could of let it go or anything. That part was childish. Plus, on my part for reacting that way….

“I think it was just real childish,” Johnson said. “It was something that didn’t need to happen. I lost my cool. I apologize on that part. I’ve never been kicked out of a game before or been teed up like that.”

Childish is a good word for it. Stupid is as well.

Expensive will be another because he is going to miss a number of games for this without pay. Expect the suspension to come down Tuesday.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?