Mavericks Coach Avery Johnson was fined $10,000 by the NBA yesterday for his postgame exchange of words with official Joey Crawford following a loss to the Rockets in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Johnson began berating Crawford in the final minutes of Saturday's game, which Houston won, 98-86. When time expired, Johnson had a few more things to say as he walked off the court. Crawford laughed as he walked off in the other direction and Johnson came back at him. A Rockets security official helped pry Johnson away.
The punishment was described as being for "failing to leave the court in a timely manner."
MOBLEY FINED: Kings G Cuttino Mobley was fined $15,000 by the NBA for making an obscene gesture toward fans at the end of Sacramento's first-round playoff loss in Seattle.
Mobley, who scored 22 points in an 87-82 defeat, made the gesture after hitting a three-pointer with 42.4 seconds to play that cut the SuperSonics' lead to 83-82.
Game 2 of the Kings-Sonics series is tonight in Seattle.
WARNING, WARNING: Shaquille O'Neal issued a warning to the Heat's playoff rivals after playing a minor role as Miami cruised in the first game of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Nets.
Dwyane Wade, with 32 points, and Damon Jones, with 30, drove the top-seeded Heat to a 116-98 win in the opener of the best-of-seven series on Sunday.
O'Neal, working his way slowly back to fitness after suffering a thigh injury a week ago, chipped in with 17 points and 11 rebounds in 32 minutes.
"I knew I wasn't going to be the regular playoff diesel that America is used to," said O'Neal, who averaged 36.3 points when he led the Lakers over the Nets in the 2002 NBA Finals.
"I didn't have that explosiveness, that firecracker explosiveness. If the team plays like this with a 40 percent Shaq, imagine what we will do as I improve."
-- From News Services