Damning new footage reveals what sparked crazy NBA brawl

Damning close-up footage has emerged of the alleged spit that sparked the bizarre brawl between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

Long-time rivals Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul went toe-to-toe after the latter accused the former of spitting in his face.

The Lakers’ Rondo insisted after the game that he didn’t spit at Houston veteran Paul but the NBA was in the process of examining video and interviewing witness to determine punishments.

Hours after the new clips emerged, it was revealed Rondo and Paul had been suspended for three and two games respectively.

The Lakers’ Brandon Ingram, who effectively started the incident when he pushed Houston MVP James Harden, received a four-game ban.

The bans arrived after the Rockets sent clips to the league, with one angle in particular seemingly revealing Rondo was guilty of the unsavoury act.

The two were face-to-face after a scrum had formed over Ingram’s push on Houston’s MVP James Harden, and Paul said that Rondo spit in his face during the exchange.

Paul then put his finger in Rondo’s face, and Rondo responded by throwing a punch, and Paul punched back.

Close-up footage shows spit exit Rajon Rondo’s mouth towards Chris Paul. Pic: NBA

Ingram saw what was happening and flew in from across the court and started punching, and then there was a real brawl. Rondo, Paul, and Ingram were all ejected.

Before the extreme close-up shown in the Rockets’ video, you can see Paul wipe his face as Rondo turned his head, and that’s when Paul shoved his finger in Rondo’s face and the punching started.

As the video is enlarged, you can see actual spit leave Rondo’s mouth, which makes Rondo’s assertion that he didn’t spit look pretty dumb.

According to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, the Rockets sent that clip, which is part of a slightly longer video, to the league office.

Kiki VanDeWeghe, NBA vice president of basketball operations, was at the game and saw the incident live.

The suspensions mean the Rockets will be without Paul for their game against his former side, the Los Angeles Clippers, today.

with Yahoo Sports US