Green fined for kick but escapes suspension and will play

LOS ANGELES • Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green escaped a possible one-game suspension on Monday when he was fined by the National Basketball Association for a flagrant foul that was upgraded from category 1 to 2.

Green faced the chance of being banned for this morning's (Singapore time) Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against Oklahoma City after he had kicked Thunder centre Steven Adams in the groin during Sunday's Game 3.

However, the league instead decided to fine Green US$25,000 (S$34,500) after reviewing the play and upgrading his foul.

"After a thorough investigation that included review of all available video angles and interviews with the players involved and the officials working the game, we have determined that Green's foul was unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine," Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA's executive vice-president of basketball operations, said in a statement.

The incident occurred with 5:57 left in the second quarter of the Thunder's 133-105 win over the defending NBA champion Warriors in Oklahoma City that put them 2-1 ahead in the best-of-seven series.

While Cleveland Cavaliers reserve Dahntay Jones got a one-game suspension for a forearm smash into Toronto Raptors' Bismack Biyombo in the same private area, Green will be available today.

For all the majesty of Stephen Curry, Green is the Warriors' alter ego, their emotional leader and multi-purpose engine. If passivity was their primary problem on Sunday, they will need more Green-related passion for Game 4, to match the Thunder's combustibility.

"He needs to refocus a little bit, and he'll admit it," Kerr said of Green's penchant for walking a fine line between advancing chemistry and creating chaos. "The great thing with Draymond is he always turns it around. He's one of the great competitors that we have in the league, that we have on our team. When things aren't looking great, he usually plays his best."

Green, however, has yet to reach the standards he set in the regular season - 14 points on 49 per cent shooting, 9.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists - in this series.

He averaged 13 points on 37 per cent shooting, 5.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists in the last three games.

REUTERS, NEW YORK TIMES

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2016, with the headline 'Green fined for kick but escapes suspension and will play'. Print Edition | Subscribe