New York—Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart and Cleveland Cavaliers swingman J.R. Smith were each fined Monday by the NBA for their roles in an on-court altercation, the league announced.
Smart was fined $25,000 for escalating an on-court incident during an altercation in which he was ejected. Smith was fined $15,000 for initiating the confrontation.
The incident took place with 3:38 remaining in the first quarter of Cleveland’s 113-102 home victory over Boston late Saturday.
Smith and Australian forward Aron Baynes of the Celtics became entangled and exchanged shoves, with Smart entering the scuffle by pushing Smith from behind.
Both Smart and Smith had to be restrained from escalating the situation.
Smart was whistled for a technical foul and ejected. Smith was issued a technical foul for shoving Baynes.
The Celtics, who were ousted from the NBA playoffs by Cleveland in last season’s Eastern Conference final, will not face the Cavaliers in the regular season until November 30.
The Cavaliers reached the NBA Finals in each of the past four seasons, but that was with four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James, who departed Cleveland in the off-season to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
Meanwhile, Phoenix Suns managing owner Robert Sarver fired general manager Ryan McDonough on Monday, nine days before the team’s NBA season opener following poor results in a week of exhibition games.
The Suns, who had the NBA’s worst record last season at 21-61, lost 106-102 at home to Sacramento a week ago and 115-93 to visiting Portland last Friday in pre-season NBA contests.
Phoenix also struggled past the Australian National Basketball League’s New Zealand Breakers 91-86 last Wednesday.
With their season opener set for October 17 against visiting Dallas, the Suns decided they needed to make a major change before the new campaign tipped off.
“After much thought and a long evaluation of our basketball operations, I have decided to relieve Ryan McDonough of his duties,” Sarver said. “Our focus in the short term is to prepare for the upcoming NBA season and to continue pursuing opportunities to strengthen our roster.”
Basketball operations vice president James Jones and assistant general manager Trevor Bukstein will share interim general manager duties.
Jones, a three-time NBA champion playing alongside pal LeBron James and who never played on a club with a losing season in 14 campaigns, will oversee coaches, players and staff.
Bukstein will handle player transactions.
“Over the course of the season, we will explore both internal and external options as we look to restructure our basketball front office leadership,” Sarver said.
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