Houston Rockets star Chris Paul will be on the floor for Game 2 against NBA champions the Golden State Warriors after avoiding suspension.
Paul received a second technical foul and was ejected with less than five seconds remaining in Sunday’s 104-100 loss to the Warriors in their Western Conference semi-final opener.
The Rockets guard – who finished with 17 points and four assists at Oracle Arena – appeared to bump into a referee during the exchange, which could have led to a suspension.
Paul was disciplined on Monday as the NBA announced a $35,000 fine for “aggressively confronting and recklessly making contact with a game official”, without a ban.
“A lot of things need to be improved,” Paul told reporters after the loss. “We can do better on our switches, rebounding, too. We definitely have to rebound better.
“And we’ve got to execute and understand that they got shooters, so we’ve got to try to force the other guys to shoot more shots.”
Both teams were unhappy with the officiating throughout the game. Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters the referees admitted they missed multiple calls in the first half that would have sent James Harden to the free-throw line.
“I mean the response was they came in at half-time and said they missed them,” D’Antoni said. “That’s what they told me. They missed four of them. That’s 12 foul shots. So be it. They’re trying to do the best they can do. And obviously it was what it was.”
Harden tallied 35 points on just nine-of-28 shooting as Houston went down in the opening game.
“I mean, I just want a fair chance, man,” Harden told reporters. “Call the game how it’s supposed to be called and that’s it. And I’ll live with the results. Just call the game the way it’s supposed to be called and we’ll live with the results. It’s plain and simple.”