While Sunday night’s game between the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves did not upend the clash between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors for “game of the day” status, there was plenty to monitor between two playoff-level teams from the West. The end result was a 129-120 victory for the Rockets, who maintain their status as the No. 1 seed in the conference, but the fourth quarter provided some fireworks in the form of a scuffle involving Chris Paul, Gorgui Dieng and Gerald Green.
The incident took place with the Rockets leading by 13 points early in the closing period and, as a result of their involvement, Green was ejected and Dieng earned a technical foul of his own. Earlier this week, Phoenix Suns forwards Marquese Chriss and Jared Dudley were fined $25,000 each for a (relatively) similar shove against Ricky Rubio and, if anything, that might bring some baseline in terms of what future punishment could be.
With that said, Green’s shove on Dieng sent him flying into the first row of fans and, anytime the crowd is that close to fight-like action in this way, that brings increased ire from the league. Beyond that, Green was also involved the infamous back-tunnel altercation between the Rockets and Clippers and, after serving a two-game suspension, he directed some blame toward the media for their role in promoting the incident.
It remains to be seen as to what kind of takeaways the league office will have in this case but, without Green, the Rockets had little trouble picking up a quality road win and, before he was ejected, the veteran swingman added 12 points on perfect, 5-for-5 shooting. Things could be worse for Houston but a fine (and potential suspension) are worth monitoring in the immediate future.