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Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic started the scuffle with teammate Bobby Portis that landed Mirotic in the hopsital with facial injuries, reported Hall of Fame NBA writer Peter Vecsey.
Mirotic shoved Portis at least two times, Vecsey wrote a source as saying on Vecsey’s Patreon page (subscription required).
“When Portis retaliated with a hard shove, Mirotic charged him,” Vecsey’s source said. “Portis put him down.”
Mirotic, 26, reportedly suffered multiple fractures to the face that could require surgery, as well as a concussion.
Portis has been suspended for eight games, according to ESPN.
Portis, 22, is a 6-foot-9 forward and averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds in 64 games last season, his second with the Bulls and in the NBA overall.
Mirotic is 6-10 and averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 70 games last season.
The two had no bad blood or ongoing feud prior to Tuesday’s scuffle, Vecsey reported.