Nick Young has been suspended for one games without pay by the NBA for committing a “punching foul” that hit the head of Phoenix guard Goran Dragic in the Lakers loss on Wednesday to the Suns.
Young will miss the Lakers’ (14-25) game on Friday in Boston (14-26) at TD Garden, marking the first time in Young’s six year NBA career that he has ever been suspended by the league. Young has otherwise served as a success story among a gloomy season, bringing a strong scoring touch, added effort on defense and a playful personality. Young has averaged 16.6 points on 42.3 percent shooting, which ranks 1st in the NBA among reserves who have come off the bench for at least 20 games.
Meanwhile, Suns forward Alex Len was fined $15,000 for his flagrant foul 2 that knocked Young to the floor after driving to the basket. Suns forward Marcus Morris was fined $25,000 for escalating the situation.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are already nursing long-term injuries to Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee), Steve Nash (nerve issues in back), Steve Blake (hyperextended right elbow), Jordan Farmar (torn left hamstring) and Xavier Henry (bone bruise in right knee). Those injuries coupled with Young’s suspension gives the Lakers an eight-man rotation.
Young was ejected from the Lakers’ 121-114 loss to the Phoenix Suns with 7:33 left in the second quarter after making contact with an open hand on Dragic’s head after he entered the fray. The fight stemmed from Len delivering a hard foul on Young that knocked him to the floor as he drove for a layup. Young immediately stood up and shoved Len back. Young and Morris also shared shoves. Len also earned a flagrant foul 2 and a subsequent ejection. Morris was slapped with a technical foul. Young soon removed his jersey before entering the player’s tunnel.
Young lamented afterwards that his teammates didn’t intervene.
“What I was mad about is it was one-on-five,” said Young, who has posted nine points on 4-of-8 shooting before his ejection. “If somebody had gotten in the middle, it wouldn’t have escalated that much.”
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