The NBA has fined Washington Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas $25,000 for making inappropriate physical contact with an official, the league announced Saturday.
The punishment, announced by NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Kiki VanDeWeghe, was handed down after an incident in the Wizards’ 122-103 home loss against Portland on Friday night.
Thomas was hit with a technical foul and was ejected with 10:32 left in the first quarter, becoming the first player tossed from a game within the first two minutes since Utah’s Greg Ostertag at the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 8, 2002, per Elias.
During the fight for a loose ball, Thomas and Portland’s Carmelo Anthony became entangled. The Wizards guard knocked referee Marat Kogut into the crowd when he tried pulling away from Anthony.
—Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving remains optimistic that he can avoid surgery on his injured right shoulder.
Irving spoke with reporters for the first time since Nov. 14, which marked his most recent game. He said he expects to be re-evaluated in a couple weeks after receiving a cortisone shot Dec. 24.
“(I’m) doing a lot better,” Irving said in comments published by ESPN’s Malika Andrews. Still, there is no firm target for Irving’s return. He has resisted the option to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder because it would keep him out for three to four months.
—Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George missed Saturday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies due to a hamstring injury.
George suffered the injury during the second quarter of Thursday’s 126-112 win over the Detroit Pistons. He sat out the second half with tightness in the hamstring.
Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said it was possible George could return for Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks. The Clippers have four full days off after that game. George, a six-time All-Star, is averaging 23.1 points and 6.0 rebounds in 25 games.
—Phoenix Suns forward/center Frank Kaminsky has a right patella stress fracture and is out indefinitely, the team announced.
Kaminsky has missed the past three games because of the knee injury and will be evaluated again in about four weeks.
Kaminsky, 26, is averaging 11.0 points and 4.9 rebounds in 32 games (13 starts) this season, his first with the Suns after signing as a free agent in July. He spent his first four seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, who selected him ninth in the 2015 NBA Draft.
—Field Level Media