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NBA fines Lakers guard Russell $25,000 for verbal abuse

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #5 of the Denver Nuggets is guarded by D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first quarter during game five of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Ball Arena on April 29, 2024 in Denver, Colorado.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Denver Nuggets is guarded by D’Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first quarter during game five of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Ball Arena on April 29, 2024 in Denver, Colorado. (Getty images via AFP)

NEW YORK – Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Saturday for verbally abusing a game official.

The Lakers were unsatisfied with two contact plays that were not called due to fouls in the final seconds of the loss, which gave the defending NBA champion Nuggets a 4-1 victory in the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series.

The NBA report on the plays in the final two minutes of games stated that not calling was the right call in both cases.

Russell averaged 18.0 points and 6.3 assists per game for the Lakers this season, as the team went 47-35 and defeated New Orleans in a play-in game for a playoff spot against the Securing nuggets.

Russell helped the Lakers win the In-Season Tournament last December, but the team fired coach Darvin Ham on Friday after two seasons. They reached the Western Conference finals last season before falling to Denver.

A major overhaul of the Lakers could be in the works, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis potentially opting out of their contracts for next season.