SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down a wild Game 1 of the NBA Finals and how the Cavaliers will respond after J.R. Smith’s devastating gaffe.
USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson is in the clear for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
Thompson was fined $25,000 for “failing to leave the court in a timely manner” following his ejection late in overtime of Game 1 and for shoving the ball into the face of the Warriors’ Draymond Green. More importantly for the Cavaliers, Thompson will not be suspended for the incident that sparked a brief altercation.
Thompson’s flagrant foul 2 that led to his ejection was also downgraded to a flagrant 1, the league announced.
The flagrant foul, ejection and scuffle came in the closing seconds of the Warriors’ 124-114 victory Thursday night. Thompson was assessed the flagrant 2 — and automatically ejected — after contesting a shot by the Warriors’ Shaun Livingston. While leaving the court after the ejection, Thompson shoved the ball in Green’s face, and a scuffle ensued.
Thompson said he felt Livingston was being disrespectful for taking the shot with the outcome decided. Golden State was ahead by eight points with about five seconds left at the time of the shot.
“I contested a shot that shouldn’t have been taken,” Thompson said. “I mean, it’s like the unspoken rule in the NBA. If you’re up 10 or 11 with about 20 seconds left, you don’t take that shot. I make the contest, and next thing I know, I was being kicked out for a good contest that we learn in training camp. I don’t know why I got thrown out.”
Following the game, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said he was confident the league would fairly review the incident.
“Haven’t heard anything yet, but I know the league will do the right thing,” Lue said.
Game 2 is Sunday night in Oakland.
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