Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young on Thursday received a one-game suspension for his altercation with Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic in the team’s 121-114 loss on Wednesday, according to Ben Golliver of SI.com.
The NBA has also punished other players involved in the skirmish as they fined Suns center Alex Len $15,000 for his flagrant foul on Young and fined Phoenix forward Marcus Morris $25,000 for escalating the situation.
The incident in question occurred midway through the second quarter when Young was driving to the basket for a layup attempt on a fast break and received a hard foul to the face by Len that sent the Lakers guard tumbling to the ground. After hitting the floor, Young quickly rose to his feet and shoved Len.
Several other Suns players moved to separate the two players, but in the process Morris would push Young back with a tw0-handed shove. The altercation would escalate from there as Young became more angry and threw a punch at Dragic’s head.
The Referees reviewed the play and changed Len’s foul to a flagrant foul 2 due to “unnecessary and excessive” contact that resulted in an immediate ejection from the game. As for Young, the referees called for an automatic ejection after he threw a punch at Dragic’s head.
Young after the game voiced his displeasure with his teammates not having his back on the play.
““What I’m mad about is it was 1-on-5, I felt like,” Young said. “If somebody [from the Lakers] would have got in the middle, everything wouldn’t have escalated that much.”
Young’s teammate Kendall Marshall felt that the foul was not a “basketball play,” but at the same time it did not call for the Lakers to clear their bench knowing that they were already down to just nine healthy players coming into the game.
“I understand where Nick’s coming from, he did get fouled hard and it wasn’t a basketball play by any means but at the same time, we got to understand our numbers [of available players on the roster] and sometimes you just got to win some and lose some,” Marshall said. “I don’t know if that was the smartest play at the time.”
Head coach Mike D’Antoni echoed a similar sentiment to Marshall after the game.
“You don’t fight in this league,” D’Antoni said. “It wouldn’t help us to lose two or three more guys. So, I hate that Nick feels that way, but I’m sure he’s just in the moment, talking.”
With the knowledge that a suspension would come down on Thursday, the Lakers announced earlier in the day that they intend to sign L.A. Defenders combo guard Manny Harris to a 10-day contract. Harris is expected to join the team for their road game on Friday against the Boston Celtics.
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