OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Houston guard Chris Paul was fined $35,000 by the NBA today for making contact with an official with 4.4 seconds left in a 104-100 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Paul was automatically ejected following his second technical Sunday. The league said his discipline — handed down by executive Kiki VanDeWeghe — was “for aggressively confronting and recklessly making contact with a game official,” Josh Tiven. Paul would not say after the game whether he had indeed made contact with Tiven as it appeared on replays.
The incident happened when Paul argued that Warriors guard Klay Thompson committed a loose-ball foul against him.
“I don’t know yet. Nobody told me. He just called a tech. And I knew that was my second,” said Paul, who had rebounded James Harden’s missed 3 with 10.1 seconds left.
The Rockets publicly complained in postgame interviews about the officiating, particularly frustrated with Golden State’s closeouts on 3-point shooters like Harden.
On Monday, the NBA’s Last-Two Minute Report confirmed a no-call when Draymond Green defended that 3-point try by Harden that could have tied the game.
Paul has been determined to have a great series against the two-time defending champion Warriors after he missed the final two games of last year’s seven-game series because of an injured right hamstring. Houston squandered a 3-2 series lead by losing Game 7 at home.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. The West powers are meeting in the postseason for the fourth time in five years.