John Lucas missed his third game of the season tonight when the team physician of the Pacers said he was too sick to play. He faces fines because he missed the team flight from Washington.
Lucas, who earlier this season admitted to using cocaine, arrived here later in the day.
About 5 o'clock he told trainer John Lally that he was sick to his stomach and wouldn't be able to go to the game. Lally said he told him to go to the arena and be examined by the Pacers' physician. Lucas missed the team bus but showed up later.
Dr. Richard Hutson, who examined Lucas and sent him back to the hotel, said the player was vomiting, had a fever and was suffering from diarrhea.
After Coach Gene Shue got on the plane this morning, there was a message at the airport for him. He sent Don Collins to see what it was. Collins came back and told Shue that Lucas had called and said he was in an accident, but that he would be in Indianapolis in time for the game.
Collins missed the bus to the arena and was fined $25. He arrived about 6:30, a half-hour after his teammates, but before warmup drills began.
"What a time for this to happen," Shue said of Lucas' absence. "Here we have seven games left to make the playoffs, we're all trying to band together and he doesn't show up."
Lucas missed his first game Jan. 6 in Philadelphia, citing "personal problems." Later he admitted he had a problem with using cocaine, but said he was overcoming it.
On the Bullets' next trip to Philadelphia, Feb. 3, Lucas again missed the team bus. His wife told the Bullets' office that Lucas was taking a late flight to the game, but the 27-year-old guard never showed up.
This time Lucas could be fined $100 for missing the flight, $25 for missing the bus and possibly another game salary, approximately $3,700.
Shue said he did not want to discuss action against Lucas until he talked with the player and the Pacers' doctor.