Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Kaman pushed Chris Paul in the back, causing a scuffle.
It also ignited the Los Angeles Clippers in a game they trailed by double digits for most of the first three quarters.
Paul had 41 points and 17 assists and the Clippers rallied past the Portland Trail Blazers 126-122 on Wednesday night.
"I think our bench gave us our life and put us back in the game," Paul said.
Paul appeared to hit Kaman in the groin with his left hand while grabbing a loose ball rebound. Kaman retaliated by pushing him in the back near the baseline and walking away from the ensuing fracas.
Clippers forward Glen Davis rushed after Kaman, but was sent flying backward by a LaMarcus Aldridge shove.
"I'm not talking about that," Kaman said of the skirmish.
"Nothing out of the ordinary ... people pushing each other," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "I would definitely say the Clippers picked up their aggressiveness."
Portland led 92-81 prior to the skirmish. The Clippers then went on a 27-8 run following the incident to seize control of the contest before holding on in the final minute.
"A game we could've, should've won," Stotts said.
The victory moved the Clippers a game behind Portland for the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
The Blazers could've clinched the Northwest Division with a win.
J.J. Redick posted 25 points and eight rebounds, Blake Griffin tallied 24 points, eight assists and seven boards and DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who trailed by as many as 19.
Aldridge scored 29 points, Nicolas Batum had 21 and Damian Lillard supplied 18 points and 10 assists for Portland, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.
Redick capped the extended surge with a pull-up jumper, staking the Clippers to a 108-100 margin with 4:22 left.
It was 122-113 with 55.9 ticks to go following a Paul jumper. But Portland didn't go away quietly.
Aldridge secured an offensive rebound after Lillard split a pair of foul shots and his three-point play quickly trimmed the gap to 122-117. Paul missed a 3- pointer at the other end and Aldridge sunk two foul shots with 19.5 seconds on the clock to make it a one-possession game.
Paul, however, hit all four of his foul shots in the waning moments to hold Portland at bay.
Earlier, Portland was up 33-26 after the first quarter and an 18-6 swing to begin the second helped it build a commanding 51-32 spread.
Lillard's layup in the final seconds of the half made it 68-55 at the break.
It was Paul's seventh career 40-point game ... The Clippers won the season series 3-1 ... There were just 15 total turnovers in the game ... Los Angeles shot 53.5 percent (46-of-86) and hit 15-of-28 shots from beyond the arc ... Portland was 13-of-25 from long distance.