Hurt Russ held back as popcorn tossed amid exit

  • ESPN.com NBA writer since 2010
  • Covered Cleveland Cavs for seven years
  • Author of two books

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook had to be held back by arena security staff after popcorn was dumped on his head as he exited Wednesday night’s game in Philadelphia with a right ankle injury.

With 10 minutes, 28 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the Wizards trailing the 76ers by 17 points in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series, Westbrook stepped on 76ers guard Furkan Korkmaz’s foot and rolled his ankle.

As he left the floor limping to go to the locker room for treatment, a fan appeared to pour popcorn on Westbrook as he went down the tunnel. It angered Westbrook, who had to be held back by multiple team officials and Wells Fargo Center security staff.

A fan seated near the tunnel was escorted out by security shortly after the incident.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James reacted to the situation in a Twitter post, writing, “By the way WE AS THE PLAYERS wanna see who threw that popcorn on Russ while he was leaving the game tonight with a injury!! There’s cameras all over arenas so there’s no excuse! Cause if the [shoe] was on the other [foot].”

He attached the hashtag #ProtectOurPlayers.

Earlier in the game, Westbrook briefly left the floor to work on a different right leg injury after he fell while guarding Ben Simmons on a post play late in the third quarter.

Westbrook struggled on the night, going 2-for-10 shooting with 10 points,11 assists and six rebounds. The Wizards lost 120-95 and find themselves in an 0-2 series hole.

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