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NBA fines Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young after late-game ref dispute

Feb 10, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket as Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) defends during the second half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 10, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket as Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) defends during the second half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Not only did Trae Young lose a game Wednesday night, but now he’ll lose some money on top of it.

The NBA fined the Atlanta Hawks star point guard $20,000 on Thursday for what it deemed “inappropriate language toward a game official” in the immediate aftermath of the team’s close loss to the Dallas Mavericks less than 24 hours earlier.

The punishment was announced by Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Kiki VanDeWeghe on the heels of the Hawks’ 118-117 loss to the Mavericks, a game Atlanta led by nine points entering the final quarter.

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With the Hawks trailing by one and inbounding in the frontcourt, Young attempted to set a pick on Dallas’ Willie Cauley-Stein, who ran into the much smaller Young and knocked him down. Instead of Young then getting the ball as planned, the Hawks looked elsewhere. Eventually Danilo Gallinari missed a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer.

After the horn, Young angrily threw his mouthpiece to the ground and ran screaming at crew chief Josh Tiven, who stuck with the no-call both on the floor and afterward, when he told a pool reporter that the collision was “deemed incidental.”

The league backed Tiven in Thursday’s statement, saying the play was correctly ruled a no-call. After the game, Young — who posted 25 points and 15 assists in defeat — stated his case to reporters.

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“I’m not going to run away from the ball with four seconds left and we’re trying to win the game,” said Young. “I’m not going to fall just to fall at the end. That’s just the most frustrating part. Not really having an opportunity to make a play at the end is just really frustrating.”

“It was a perfect screen,” said Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce, who reportedly said Tevin told him that Young could have been called for an illegal screen. “Willie Cauley-Stein ran Trae over, and that’s a foul. It’s a foul. It’s why Trae was on the floor. It blows up our play. It’s unfortunate.

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“I thought our guys really competed. Trae was fouled. He falls on the floor. He gets hit in the nose. He set a great screen. I give him credit; he set a great screen. We tried to execute, and he did.”

–Field Level Media