NEW YORK, NY - The NBA has suspended Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins for one game for punching Houston guard Patrick Beverly in the stomach during Tuesday loss to the Rockets. Cousins was also fined $20,000 for verbally abusing official Courtney Kirkland and failing to leave the court in a timely manner following an ejection later in the game.
The fine was assessed for Cousins’ behavior following his ejection in the third quarter, as he “verbally abused” an official and failed to leave the court in a timely manner. Cousins’ ejection occurred with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter and Houston leading 73-54. Rockets center Dwight Howard stretched to finish an alley-oop dunk with Cousins underneath him. After the slam attempt missed, Cousins was called for a foul for leaning in Howard’s direction, although there didn’t appear to be much contact between the players.
After initially questioning the foul, Cousins was assessed a technical foul after Howard attempted his first free throw. Again, Cousins disputed that call and raised his hands as if to ask what he had done. At the next dead ball, Kings coach Michael Malone stood up for Cousins, but Cousins joined the conversation, shouting at referee Courtney Kirkland as Kings assistant coach Corliss Williamson tried to restrain him.
Kirkland then assessed Cousins a second technical foul, which triggered an automatic ejection, and Cousins lashed out one more time, attempting to confront Kirkland before he was escorted off the court. Cousins departed with 16 points (on 6-for-13 shooting) and six rebounds in 20 minutes.
After the game, Cousins issued an apology on Twitter.
“Disappointed with the way I acted out on the court tonight,” he wrote. “I want to apologize and say sorry to my team and the fans for letting them down.”