NBA notebook: Rockets ban fan over alleged punching incident


A Houston Rockets fan was charged with misdemeanor assault after punching an assistant coach of the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.

FILE PHOTO: Oct 26, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots the ball during the second quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Authorities say Manuel Garcia hit New Orleans assistant Joe Boylan in the face after the contest, a 126-123 Rockets win in Houston. Garcia’s girlfriend also was arrested for trying to prevent police from reaching Garcia. The fan has been banned for life by the Rockets.

In a statement to ESPN, the Pelicans said: “We are aware of this incident but will have no further comment.”

Harris County District Attorney’s Office prosecutor Nathan Beedle said in a statement, “We will get to the bottom of this and hold them both accountable for their actions.”

—Former New York Knicks general manager and original Philadelphia 76ers player Al Bianchi died Monday of natural causes. He was 87.

A 6-foot-3 guard from Long Island City, N.Y., Bianchi was a second-round pick by the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1954 NBA Draft out of Bowling Green. He played 10 seasons with the Syracuse Nationals/76ers franchise from 1956-66, including the team’s debut campaign in Philadelphia in 1963-64. He averaged 8.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 687 games.

Following his playing career, Bianchi became the first head coach of the expansion Seattle SuperSonics (1967-69) before coaching the ABA’s Washington Capitols (1969-70) and Virginia Squires (1970-76).

—The Los Angeles Clippers exercised the third-year options on guards Landry Shamet and Jerome Robinson.

Shamet, 22, has started four games for Los Angeles this season, averaging 10.3 points in 32.8 minutes. A first-round pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2018, he was traded to the Clippers last season. In 83 career games, he is averaging 9.2 points per game. He was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie second team last season.

Robinson, 22, has appeared in 36 games with the Clippers, averaging 3.2 points and 9.1 minutes per game. This season, he has scored three points in three games. Robinson was the Clippers’ first-round pick in the 2018 draft out of Boston College, selected 13th overall.

—Field Level Media

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