SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Martin Rogers breaks down all the playoff action from Saturday night’s slate of games.
The NBA fined Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks $25,000 and suspended him one game without pay for entering the referee locker room after Brooklyn’s Game 4 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday, the league announced on Sunday.
Marks will serve his suspension Tuesday in Game 5 in Philadelphia with the Sixers up 3-1 in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
Entering the refs locker room is a significant no-no, and it’s posted outside the locker room that only authorized personnel are allowed in. It is rare for a team executive to get fined for this offense. In 2013, Atlanta GM Danny Ferry was fined $15,000 for inappropriate interaction with referees following a regular-season game against Boston.
Philadelphia took Game 4 112-108.
Nets forward Jared Dudley was ejected along with Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler for an altercation in the third quarter.
The scuffle began after Sixers center Joel Embiid was called for a foul on Brooklyn’s Jarrett Allen. The refs gave Embiid a flagrant foul one for his actions, his second flagrant one of the series for a total of two flagrant foul points. If a player accumulates more than three flagrant foul points in the postseason, it results in suspension.
ESPN reported that Marks was upset that Embiid wasn’t given an flagrant foul two in either Game 2 or Game 4.
“Embiid’s foul was ruled a Flagrant 1 because there was a wind up with unnecessary contact that we didn’t deem to be excessive,” referee Ed Malloy told a pool reporter after Saturday’s game.
Brooklyn was outscored 27-17 in the fourth quarter and had a 101-94 lead with 5:20 left in the game. After Philadelphia’s Mike Scott gave Philadelphia a 110-108 lead, Sixers guard Ben Simmons stole the basketball from Jarrett Allen, who was swarmed by three Sixers, including Tobias Harris.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson thought Harris should have been called for a foul.
“So, the big point of emphasis this year was wrapping (up) a player when he rolls to the rim, wrapping around the waist,” Atkinson said. “You guys can judge for yourselves if you watch the clip. But there was a clear wrap by Tobias Harris on the roll. I’m just disappointed. That’s a point of emphasis from day one at the coaches meeting how they’re really going to emphasize that beginning of the game, end of the game and all season. So, how that all of a sudden doesn’t become a foul on the wrap? I just don’t understand.
“I’ve looked at the clip 10 times. There’s a clear wrap. You guys can decide for yourselves.”