The yellow foam hands came flying in from every corner of the lower bowl, sailing onto the court in dozens of frisbee-style arches late in the Cleveland Cavaliers' dominant victory at the Staples Center on Friday night.
LeBron James was more worried than amused by this unusual display of frustration from the Los Angeles Lakers' fans — and he got a bit more concerned when a water bottle followed the foam.
Despite that surreal response to the officiating of a physical game, the Cavaliers were hands-down better than the defending champions in a 102-87 victory.
"The only thing that you hope doesn't happen is one of the players getting hit or a referee getting hit, especially by a full water bottle," James said. "When that came on the court, it was coming pretty fast. You don't want that to happen because it could definitely hurt somebody. Luckily no one got hurt, and that's a good thing."
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The fans were driven to throw up their hands — not the usual foam No. 1 fingers, but a representation of two puppet hands making the "LA" symbol in a tie-in to Nike's LeBron-and-Kobe Bryant marketing campaign — by Lamar Odom's ejection with 4:04 to play. After Bryant received the Lakers' fifth T with 3:45 left, more hands took flight — along with that water bottle.
"I've never seen an L.A. crowd react like this before," said Coach Phil Jackson, whose bench drew a second T after Odom's ejection for failing to produce a substitute quickly. "I like their enthusiasm. I don't like their demonstrative manner. ... It wasn't a well-refereed game, it wasn't a very well-played game, so I think it was a reaction to that."
Celtics 86, Magic 77: Rajon Rondo had 17 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, and Boston bullied the host Magic with strong defense.
"We are a physical team," Rondo said. "We try to get stops the right way."
Ray Allen added 18 points and Tony Allen scored 16 in place of the injured Paul Pierce for the Celtics, who rolled to their 14th win in the last 15 games. Pierce is out with a right knee infection and could miss two weeks.
The only big blow for the Celtics came in the final minutes, when Kevin Garnett jumped to block a shot by Vince Carter, landing awkwardly and tumbling to the ground. He hobbled back to the bench holding his back and didn't return.
Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said Garnett mostly had a bruise on his head. Garnett said he was fine.
"If he grew some hair, it wouldn't hurt so much," Rivers joked.
The Celtics held Orlando to 28 points in the first half, tying a franchise low.
Heat 93, Knicks 87: Dwyane Wade had 30 points and nine rebounds, and the visiting Heat snapped the Knicks' three-game winning streak.
Michael Beasley added 13 of his 19 points after halftime for the Heat, who opened a comfortable lead by limiting New York to 31 points across the middle two quarters. Then Miami held on after the Knicks finally got on track in the final minutes. Jermaine O'Neal finished with 11 points and eight boards, making a jumper with 51 seconds left after Miami's lead had been sliced to three points.