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Draymond cops hefty ban for Gobert hug which turned into choke hold - 'a history of unsportsmanlike acts'

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16th November, 2023
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The NBA has suspended Golden State’s Draymond Green for five games for grabbing Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert around the neck “in an unsportsmanlike and dangerous manner.”

Also penalised by the league for their roles in the incident, which happened early in Tuesday’s game between the Timberwolves and Warriors in San Francisco, were Gobert, his Minnesota teammate Jaden McDaniels and Golden State guard Klay Thompson — all fined $US25,000 ($A38,532) by the league on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT).

McDaniels and Thompson were both ejected from the game, as was Green.

But Green will pay the biggest price, both in terms of games missed and money lost. The suspension will cause him to forfeit $US769,704 ($A1.2 million) in salary.

“The length of the suspension is based in part on Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts,” the NBA said in the release announcing the penalties.

Green has already been ejected from two games this season, also getting tossed against Cleveland on Saturday.

The incident started when Thompson and McDaniels “became entangled and were grabbing and pulling at one another’s jerseys,” the NBA said, and got further out of hand when Gobert got involved and put his arms around Thompson.

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Green got involved not long after that, wrapping his arm around Gobert’s neck.

Thompson and McDaniels were each assessed a technical foul and ejected, while Green was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 for grabbing Gobert. That category of flagrant comes with an automatic ejection, which was Green’s second in Golden State’s last three games.

Green will miss home games against Oklahoma City and Houston, a road game with Phoenix and then a home NBA In-Season Tournament game against San Antonio.

He would be eligible to return November 28 at Sacramento. The Warriors — who will also be without star guard Stephen Curry for at least the Thunder game because of a knee issue — have lost four consecutive games and are 6-6 through this season, just 1-4 at home.

Green, 33, is averaging 8.8 points, 5.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds in nine games (all starts) this season.

Derrick White has scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Boston Celtics to a 117-107 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in a matchup of the early pacesetters in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.

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Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 29 points and Jrue Holiday added 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for the Celtics (9-2), who were missing Jaylen Brown (non-COVID illness) and Kristaps Porzingis (right knee contusion).

“Everyone has to step it up a little bit,” said White. “Obviously, guys like J.B. and K.P., you can’t do what they do. But you have to step it up just a little bit and I think that a lot of guys stepped up tonight.”

Philadelphia (8-3), playing their second game in a back-to-back and third game in four nights, got 20 points apiece from Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. That total was well below the season-scoring average for both. 

The Sixers played most of the night seemingly with tired legs and struggled to adjust defensively as the Celtics whipped the ball around.

In Los Angeles, LeBron James scored 28 points with 10 rebounds and 11 assists for his first triple-double of the season but it wasn’t enought to prevent the Lakers losing to the Sacramento Kings 125-110.  

Domantas Sabonis scored a season-high 29 points with 16 rebounds and De’Aaron Fox added 28 points for the visiting Kings who extended their winning streak to four games.

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In Phoenix, Devin Booker scored 31 points in his return from a calf injury and Kevin Durant also scored 31 to lead the Suns past the Minnesota Timberwolves 133-115, snapping the visitors’ seven-game winning streak.

It was expected to be the first game of the season that all three Suns stars – Durant, Booker and Bradley Beal – played together, but Beal was a late scratching with a sore back.

 In Toronto, star off-season signing Damian Lillard had 37 points and 13 assists for the visiting Milwaukee Bucks as they beat the Raptors 128-112.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (right calf strain) did not play for Milwaukee but Malik Beasley stepped up with a season-best 30 points and made eight 3-pointers.

In Chicago, Paolo Banchero nailed a turnaround jumper with one second remaining, as his Orlando Magic beat the Bulls 96-94.

The Magic led by as much as 19 in the third quarter. Banchero led Orlando with 17 points – nine in the fourth quarter.

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In Washington, Luka Doncic scored 26 points and had 10 assists as the visiting Dallas Mavericks (9-3) eased to a 130-117 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 31 points and sank seven 3-pointers for the Mavericks on a night point guard Kyrie Irving sat out with a sprained left foot.

In Atlanta, Jalen Brunson scored 24 points, including a pull-up jumper from the top of the lane with 18.8 seconds remaining as his New York Knicks held on for a 116-114 victory over the Hawks.

© AAP

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