Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson has been fined $25,000 after sparking an altercation at the end of his team's overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors in game one of the NBA finals.
The NBA says the fine was because Thompson failed "to leave the court in a timely manner following his ejection and for shoving the basketball in the face" of Warriors forward Draymond Green.
In the final seconds of Cleveland's 124-114 overtime defeat, Thompson became incensed when Golden State's guard Shaun Livingston launched a shot from a long way out with five seconds left in overtime despite the double-digit lead.
"I mean, it's like the unspoken rule in the NBA: If you're up 10 or 11 with about 20 seconds left, you don't take that shot," Thompson told ESPN after the game.
"I make the contest, and next thing I know, I was being kicked out for a good contest that we learn in training camp. I don't know why I got thrown out."
Meanwhile, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue says the loss provided valuable insights into how to dethrone the defending champions.
The Cavs led with less than a minute left in regulation and but for an overturned foul call on the Warriors' Kevin Durant and a miscue by Cavs guard JR Smith at the end of the fourth quarter, the game could easily have had a different result.
The loss came despite LeBron James scoring 51 points, setting the table for a near upset.
"It was a tough game for us. We played well enough to win but we didn't," Lue said.
"Our guys' confidence is not shaken. We see what we need to do and how we need to perform to win. So we have the blueprint, now we just need to execute at a higher level."
Asked if James could play any better than he did on Thursday, Lue laughed. "I hope so," he said.
"I know it's asking a lot but we need him to lead by example, being aggressive and attacking the basket."