LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Bobby Portis #1 of the New York Knicks rebounds past Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of a game at Staples Center on January 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis claims his flagrant foul in Tuesday night’s loss was a legitimate accident.

On Tuesday night, the New York Knicks continued their rough West Coast trip with a 117-87 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Knicks simply couldn’t contain LeBron James, who finished with 31 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

During the second quarter of the defeat, one of the Knicks veterans experienced an ejection after just six minutes on the floor. Bobby Portis went up to contest an attempted layup from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and, whether accidentally or not, contacted his head. The referees determined that it was a flagrant foul, which led to Portis’ night ending early.

Portis ultimately denied that he meant to go after KCP.

After the loss, Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller sided with Portis, believing it was indeed an accident.

“I think it was not intentional, I think he really was going for the ball. It was unfortunate,” Miller said. “But it made us play some different lineups and do some different things. When guys are out, you have opportunities for other guys. That’s the way we have to approach it and we have confidence that the guys are going to go out there and add something and do a good job.”

The Knicks are now 6-9 under their interim coach, currently riding a three-game losing streak. They’ll conclude their difficult road trip with a matchup against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m. ET. After that, New York will return to Madison Square Garden to take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.