NBA fines Herro, Nurkic for slap-and-shove

NBA fines Herro, Nurkic for slap-and-shove
Tyler Herro of the Miami Heat (left) drives to the basket during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 5, 2022 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. (AFP)

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic and Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro were each fined $25,000 by the NBA on Friday after an on-court altercation two nights earlier.

The incident took place with 59 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of Miami’s 115-109 victory at Portland on Wednesday.

Nurkic set a screen that sent Herro tumbling to the court when he ran into the Bosnian big man.

Herro walked up behind Nurkic after the play and shoved him in the back.

Nurkic retaliated by pushing Herro in the face with his open left hand.

Both players were issued technical fouls and ejected.

The Heat improved to 24-15, fourth in the Eastern Conference and three games behind the pace-setting Chicago Bulls.

Portland fell to 14-23, 12th in the Western Conference and a game behind San Antonio for the final post-season play-in position.

Kidd enters COVID-19 protocols

Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd, who won an NBA title and two Olympic gold medals as a player, was placed into NBA COVID-19 safety protocols, the team announced Friday.

Mavericks assistant coach Sean Sweeney was set to replace Kidd on the Dallas bench for a Friday contest in Houston.

The 48-year-old American, a 10-time All-Star guard who helped Dallas take the 2011 NBA crown, became the 13th league had coach to be placed into virus protocols this season.

Kidd, a member of the 2000 and 2008 US Olympic championship squads, took over the Mavs last June after two seasons as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers following head coaching stints with Brooklyn and Milwaukee.

The Mavericks have had 11 players idled by COVID-19 this season, but the only players still in the protocols are Latvian frontline playmaker Kristaps Porzingis and Serbian reserve center Boban Marjanovic.

Dallas has won four games in a row to stand fifth in the Western Conference at 20-18. The Mavericks have reached the playoffs in six of the past 10 seasons but haven’t won a post-season series since Kidd’s squad took the 2011 NBA Finals.