UPDATE: Portland G Rudy Fernandez sustained a soft tissue injury to his right upper chest and side area in the third quarter of Monday night’s game vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.  X-Rays and CT scan were both negative.  Fernandez will be kept overnight at an area hospital for observation.  He is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game vs. the Dallas Mavericks.

INITIAL NOTES:

Monday night in Portland the Trail Blazers were hosting the Los Angeles Lakers. Enjoying a late third quarter 83-55 lead, it was Portland’s night.

Pau Gasol had been the only Laker playing well, shooting 7-of-12 for 18 points and 13 assists. His teammates, including Kobe Bryant (8-of-22, 16 points) were struggling.

With just 0.8 seconds seconds left in the third, a Blazers fast break resulted in Rudy Fernandez catching a pass going right down the middle of the paint. As he jumped at the basket to score, Lakers swingman Trevor Ariza swooped in from behind and swung his right arm sideways in very broad fashion, hitting Rudy’s arms and the back of his head near the neck area.

Ariza really followed through on the swipe, and snagged Rudy’s wrist in the end.

Fernandez totally lost his balance due to the contact and slammed down hard on the court, landing on his back while slightly twisted onto his right side, and crumbled over.

Both teams immediately rushed over, grabbing and pushing each other right in front of the Lakers bench, but I didn’t see any actual punches thrown.

An angry Brandon Roy yelled furiously at Ariza. Others jawed as well. Ariza was yelling stuff at other Blazers, too. He’s out of line here.

It appears that Lamar Odom left the Lakers bench, very briefly, just a few feet away. I’m not sure how far he went. He barely went anywhere.

A flagrant-2 was called on Ariza, which means he’s ejected.

A stretcher has been brought out to safely remove Fernandez, who is lying on his back, from the court. He’s been put down on the stretcher, covered with a blanket, and strapped down onto it securely, which is always an extremely scary sight to see.

Aside from the flagrant-2 called on Ariza, technical fouls were called on Blazers LaMarcus Aldridge, Travis Outlaw and Laker Josh Powell.

Later in the game it was reported by Blazers television that Fernandez has chest pains and is being taken to a hospital.

I’m guessing Ariza could be suspended one game. But that’s no guarantee. But Odom could be suspended for leaving the bench, though I didn’t see if he went far enough away from it to warrant such an action.

Here’s a video of Ariza’s foul on Fernandez:

–Jeff