After first-quarter ejections, Hornets’ P.J. Washington and Raptors’ Justin Champagnie fined for altercation

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Hornets forward P.J. Washington and Raptors forward Justin Champagnie wasted very little time getting ejected Tuesday.

Champagnie elbowed Washington near the neck while fighting through a Washington screen, and Washington pushed Champagnie away. On the other end of the floor, Washington hip-checked Champagnie while Champagnie tried to cut by Washington. On the next possession, Champagnie ran straight down the court and delivered a hard forearm straight to Washington’s back. Washington turned around and shoved Champagnie a couple times before the players were separated.

Each played fewer than four minutes before getting tossed in the first quarter of Toronto’s win.

NBA release:

Charlotte Hornets forward PJ Washington and Toronto Raptors forward Justin Champagnie have each been fined $15,000 for their roles in an on-court altercation, it was announced today by Byron Spruell, President, League Operations.

On the play prior to the altercation, Washington hip-checked Champagnie causing him to fall to the court. On the next possession, Champagnie retaliated by shoving Washington in the back which initiated the altercation. Washington escalated the altercation by forcefully shoving Champagnie.

The incident, for which Washington and Champagnie each received a technical foul and were ejected, occurred with 1:46 remaining in the first quarter of Toronto’s 125-113 victory over Charlotte on Jan. 25

This is a classic case of officials not stopping escalating contact with a whistle until everything boiled over.