Dillon Brooks got the best of Jarred Vanderbilt on Monday night.
Vanderbilt was ejected early in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ matchup with the Houston Rockets after he got into it with Brooks under the rim. Vanderbilt, while jostling for position to try and get a rebound, shoved Brooks hard in the chest with his forearm well after the play. That earned him a quick technical foul.
Then while arguing with officials over the call, Vanderbilt reached out and flicked Brooks in the back of the head as he was walking away. That earned Vanderbilt a second technical foul and his ejection. Brooks just laughed and walked away to the other end of the court.
Vanderbilt finished with three points and a steal in seven minutes off the bench for the Lakers. The 24-year-old entered Monday night averaging 4.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this season, his sixth in the league. He’s in the final year of a three-year, $13 million deal he first signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Brooks, who has been in a number of similar altercations in recent years, seemed completely unbothered by Vanderbilt’s actions. Brooks was ejected from a preseason game and fined after he hit Indiana Pacers center Daniel Theis in the groin in October, which is something he did to LeBron James in the playoffs last year before blaming the media for turning him into a villain. Brooks joined the Rockets this past offseason on a four-year, $80 million sign-and-trade deal.
Brooks had 10 points and two rebounds at halftime while helping the Rockets to a 78-60 lead at the Toyota Center. He hit back-to-back buckets, including a buzzer-beater, to end the half.
This post will be updated with more information shortly.