The Lakers' thrilling 116-106 double-overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center was overshadowed by the flagrant-2 foul committed by Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) in the second quarter on Artesia High School grad James Harden.
World Peace had just completed a fast break dunk, when he threw his elbow in celebration, striking Harden on the left side of his head and knocking him to the ground. World Peace was immediately tossed from the game, and Harden did not return to action after being evaluated by a doctor in the locker room.
Harden, who comes off the bench for the Western Conference-leading Thunder, is averaging almost 17 points per game this season and is favored to win the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award. During his time at Artesia High School, Harden helped the Pioneers win a CIF state title during his senior year.
Artesia High, which is known as a Southern California basketball powerhouse, is located in the city of Lakewood along the city of Cerritos border.
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