After Houston Rockets star guard James Harden was fined $25,000 on Saturday for publicly criticizing referee Scott Foster after a game earlier this week, he later was ruled out for his team’s road tilt against the Warriors at Golden State.
Head coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters before facing the Warriors that his All-Star guard would miss the game after being officially listed as questionable because of a cervical neck strain.
The NBA announced Harden’s punishment on Saturday, as he was upset with the officiating during Houston’s 111-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. He fouled out with 1:24 left when he was called for his fourth offensive foul of the game.
Although referee Michael Smith called the sixth foul, Foster was the target of Harden’s blistering postgame comments. Harden, the reigning NBA MVP, is averaging a league-leading 36.5 points this season.
—The expectation that Anthony Davis will be held out of back-to-back game scenarios came to life when it was announced the New Orleans’ Pelicans All-Star forward would miss the team’s home game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Davis was officially held out because of “rest” against the team that was reported to be most interested in acquiring him at the trade deadline earlier this month. A deadline-deal never went down after Davis informed the franchise that he would not sign a contract extension in the upcoming offseason.
Davis played just 19 minutes Friday in the Pelicans’ 126-111 loss to the Indiana Pacers, the team’s first game since the All-Star break. Davis has averaged 35.6 minutes per game this season.
—Golden State Warriors do-it-all forward Draymond Green is preparing to sign with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, which is sure to set off a firestorm of talk that Green will join forces with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Paul, a longtime friend of James, added Anthony Davis as a client in the last year, a move that many claim influenced Davis demanding a trade and seemingly trying to force his way to the Lakers.
Green has one year left on a five-year, $82 million contract with the Warriors and could be a free agent in 2020. While he’s shown no desire to leave Golden State, where he’s won three titles and become an All-Star fixture, Green’s dust-up with fellow superstar Kevin Durant earlier this season has made it seem unlikely both will stay long-term.
—Field Level Media