LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Lakers teammates Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard were involved in an heated verbal exchange during a timeout in the first half of a 115-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.
“I don’t want nobody to try to make this into an issue between me and AD,” Howard said after the game. “Or [saying] I’m trying to cause a problem with the team because I’m not.”
The incident began when Davis approached Howard while the center was sitting on the bench. Howard immediately rushed out of his seat toward Davis after something was said.
From there, some contact was made by each player, but Howard was pulled down to his seat by teammates. Eventually, Howard got up and the two met again and exchanged words face-to-face for approximately a minute.
The banter continued until play resumed.
“We squashed it right then and there,” Howard said. “We had a disagreement about something that was on the floor. We’re both very passionate about winning. We didn’t want to lose this game. … We’re grown men. Things happen, but we’ve already squashed it. There’s no issues.”
Davis maintained it was a “nonissue” and revealed that the incident stemmed from a blown pick-and-roll assignment.
“It’s just two guys very competitive that just want to win games,” Davis said. “It’s over with.”
The retooled Lakers, a team with championship aspirations and the second-best BetMGM odds, fell to 0-2. The Suns, who knocked the Lakers out in the first round of the playoffs last season, controlled the game in nearly its entirety.
Frustration mounted all evening for the home team.
Head coach Frank Vogel picked up a technical, Rajon Rondo had an incident with a fan sitting courtside that led to the fan being tossed from the arena, and then there was the Davis-Howard spat.
“We’re going to get it right. A lot of people counted us out already. They’re laughing, joking, but we’re going to get this thing together. We know what’s on the line. … We want No. 18 [championship],” Howard said.