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The Game — He Threatened to Shoot Me … Hoops KO Was Self Defense (VIDEO)

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TMZ obtained video of The Game unloading a punch on an opposing player during a pick-up basketball game — but we’re told the guy threatened to unload a gun in Game’s ass before the fight.

Sources connected to Game tell us the rapper says the punchee started things by throwing an elbow at Game … who responded by elbowing him right back. Then it got really heated — Game claims the guy said don’t make me go to my gym bag because … “I got that thing.”

The clear hint was the guy had a gun.

What happened next was a case of punch or be punched — we’re told Game is saying the guy raised his fist first, and that’s when Game threw his Tyson-tatted right hand

The video doesn’t appear to back up Game’s claim about the guy being first to make a fist.

Game denies making any death threats as the victim claimed to cops. Police are still investigating.

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