Basketball: Punch, ref abuse bring Sacramento Kings' Cousins one-game ban, fine

On Feb 12, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) works against New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS
On Feb 12, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) works against New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Sacramento Kings centre DeMarcus Cousins was suspended one game without pay and fined US$20,000 (S$25,000) for separate incidents in a loss to Houston, the National Basketball Association announced on Thursday.

Cousins will miss Friday's road game against the Los Angeles Lakers for punching Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley in the stomach.

The incident took place with 9:44 remaining in the first quarter of Sacramento's 129-103 home defeat at the hands of the Rockets.

Cousins was issued the fine for abusive comments to a referee and failing to leave the court in a timely manner following his ejection with 8:21 remaining in the third quarter of the same game.

Cousins argued a call against him for fouling Rockets centre Dwight Howard and was issued his 14th technical foul of the season. When that caused Cousins to lose his temper even more, he was issued a second technical for an automatic ejection from the game.

He later had to be restrained as he was ushered off the court, but Cousins tweeted an apology after the game.

"Disappointed with the way I acted out on the court tonight. I want to apologize and say sorry to my team and the fans for letting them down," Cousins posted on his Twitter page.

Cousins is one technical foul shy of having the number accumulated that would bring him another suspension for too many technicals in a season.