Updated 03:30 PM EDT, Sat, Sep 18, 2021

Rajon Rondo Elbows Lance Stephenson; Gets Jaw Punched in Return [Watch]

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Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo had a slightly violent encounter with Charlotte Hornets' Lance Stephenson during their game on Monday night.

The two players were slapped with technical fouls during the third quarter of the game which the Hornets won with a 96-87 score.

Fox Sports reported that Rondo threw an elbow on Stephenson prompting the latter to punch him softly on the jaw.

Rondo slammed Stephenson after the game saying that he was surprised that someone with his height and weight "could be felled by such light contact."

"He weighs about 60 more pounds than me, but that's part of his game. I am strong. But I don't think I was that strong on that play in particular to knock him down," Rondo was quoted by Fox Sports as saying.

He also told Mass Live that there was really no intent from his part to do such action. "Nothing at all. I said something to him and I didn't know what I said could get a tech. The game is contact. The game we play is contact. Whatever you saw, I don't know," he added.

Fan Sided discussed that the incident could have been sparked by the irritating vibe of Stephenson who has once bothered LeBron James in the past. Perhaps, this could also be the factor why Rondo raised his elbow, softly brushing Stephenson to the ground.

"If there's a silver lining for Lance Stephenson it's that Rajon Rondo could have unloaded his dirty elbow with much more force if he so inclined, so it appears as if the Boston Celtics guard was simply doing nothing more than attempting to send a message," Fan Sided added.

But being a bit too physical could have caused more troubles for Rondo than teaching his opponent a lesson like a possible automatic game suspension. Fan Sided writes that while the Hornets star could have been irritating "it doesn't give [Rondo] a right to throw an elbow like that. "

Despite the incident, the Hornets were still able to win the game with a 9-point lead.

Fox Sports said that Rondo made his third triple-double of the season with 12 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds but it was still not enough to pay for the turnovers he cost the team during the game.

"We did (let an opportunity slip away). It started with me. I had some key turnovers in the fourth that I should have been able to take better care of the ball. And Kemba Walker had a backdoor play layup. So we've got to do better as a team, as a whole. And it starts with myself," Rondo added.

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