The Cleveland Cavaliers' Sunday night clash with Western Conference rivals Houston Rockets at Toyota Center was one of the feistiest and ill-tempered affairs of the season.
Before the Rockets edged the visitors 105-103 in overtime, the Cavs superstar LeBron James was twice at the receiving end of some extra Rocket attention. At the beginning of the third quarter, the four-time MVP almost got into an MMA-style ground-and-pound fight with the home side's ever irritating guard Patrick Beverley. While that in itself was a story and a half, it was completely overshadowed by what happened next.
Before the end of the period, James and James Harden were battling for possession when the latter delivered a kick right in the former's crotch. The painful expression on James' face was evidence enough that Harden had hit his target.
Following the kick that was dirty and illegal even for combative sports, the Cavs' ace closed in on Harden to perhaps retaliate a bit. A few words were exchanged between their teammates, but the referee's quick intervention stopped things from escalating any further.
Harden got a flagrant foul for the incident, but his 33 points also saw off the Cavs. To add more insult to injury, the Rockets later dubbed Harden as "King James."