Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was fined $35,000 for “escalating the on-court altercation” between himself and Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins in Game 6, the NBA announced on Sunday.
Also, Hawks reserve center Bruno Fernando was suspended without pay for Game 7 for leaving the bench area during the altercation.
The NBA said Embiid’s fine was for pursuing “Collins in an unsportsmanlike manner and failing to comply with an NBA Security interview following an on-court incident.”
The incident occurred with 4:02 left in fourth quarter when Embiid fell down onto Collins’ legs after an offensive foul as he was attempting to go up for a basket.
Collins pushed Embiid off of him but then Embiid walked into Collins with his hands outstretched as the two went toward the stanchion with teammates from both sides trying to separate them. That was when Fernando left the bench area since it occurred near Atlanta’s bench.
During the game, both Collins and Embiid were given technical fouls for the incident.
“I got a tech for it, and I didn’t think it was an offensive foul,” Embiid said after game. “I was just trying to stay calm and have my hands up. And someone was pushing me from the back, and I don’t understand why I got a tech.”
On Saturday, Hawks coach Nate McMillan talked about the fine line between playing with intensity and making sure things don’t get out of hand.
“You gotta be smart out there,” McMillan said. “You have to play the game and protect yourself. There are situations where guys are getting hit and they feel that those are fouls that are unnecessary and sometimes you just respond and you react in a situation like that. You try to keep your head, but you also tell our guys we have to protect ourselves as well.
“That situation with John, Embiid falling on his leg, it was a very similar situation that happened in Philadelphia where Embiid fell on his leg. Those are situations where guys just feel that, you could really injure a player. I don’t know how much Embiid weighs but a guy like that falling on your leg, I think John just responded to that.”
Fernando’s suspension will cost him $10,469 in salary, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
Atlanta and Philadelphia play Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup on Sunday night in Philadelphia.