The Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook had to be restrained by security after a fan poured popcorn over him in his side’s 120-95 defeat at the Philadelphia 76ers.
The incident happened as Westbrook left the court with an injured ankle.
“I wouldn’t come up to me on the street and throw popcorn on my head, because you know what happens,” said Westbrook.
“In these arenas, you have got to start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does.”
The defeat means the 76ers take a 2-0 lead against the Wizards in their Eastern Conference play-off.
The popcorn was thrown over Westbrook from above the players’ tunnel as he went off with 10 minutes left of the fourth quarter and the fan was later ejected.
“This was classless, unacceptable behaviour, and we’re not going to tolerate it at Wells Fargo Center,” said Philadelphia’s president of business operations Valerie Camillo.
“We’re proud to have the most passionate fans in the country… but this type of behaviour has no place in our arena.”
Elsewhere, the New York Knicks secured their first NBA play-off win in eight years as they beat Atlanta Hawks 101-92 to level their Eastern Conference tie at 1-1.
The Utah Jazz also moved to 1-1 in their Western Conference play-off with the Memphis Grizzlies after a 141-129 victory.