The NBA suspended Golden State’s Draymond Green one game without pay for “stepping on the chest of Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis,” it was announced late Tuesday by NBA executive vice president/head of basketball operations Joe Dumars.
The suspension “was based in part on Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts,” the league also said.
Green will miss Game 3 against Sacramento on Thursday (10 p.m. ET, TNT).
With 7:03 left in the fourth quarter and the Kings leading 91-87 in Game 2 on Monday, Green stomped on Sabonis’ chest after Sacramento’s Malik Monk missed a shot. Sabonis fell to the court, and as Green tried to run back on offense, Sabonis grabbed Green’s right leg. As Green broke free, he thrust his foot into Sabonis’ chest.
Referees issued Green a flagrant foul two, earning him an automatic ejection. Sabonis was given a technical foul.
The Kings defeated the Warriors 114-106, taking a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference first-round series.
This is not the first time Green has been hit with discipline from the league in the playoffs. Most notably in the 2016 NBA Finals against Cleveland, Green received a flagrant foul two after an incident with LeBron James in Game 4. Green was suspended for Game 5, allowing the Cavs to get back in the series, overcoming a 3-1 deficit and winning the title.
Right call: Why Warriors’ Draymond Green should be suspended for latest NBA playoffs antics
Mr. Clutch: Kings guard De’Aaron Fox shows dominion in crunch time, voted NBA’s Clutch Player of the Year
Kings coach Mike Brown said he was curious to see what the league might do, and Green defended his action.
My leg got grabbed, the second time in two nights,” he said. “Referees just watch it. I’ve got to land my foot somewhere, and I’m not the most flexible person so it’s not stretching that far. I can only step so far and pull my leg away, so it is what it is.
“The explanation (from the referee) was I stomped too hard.”
Sabonis also offered his perspective on the stomp: “I fell and I was trying to protect myself and then obviously the incident happened. I feel like there’s no room for that in our game today.”
The Kings said Tuesday that Sabonis underwent X-rays and a medical evaluation that revealed he had a “sternum contusion.” The team listed him as “questionable” for Game 3.