NEW YORK — The NBA has suspended Orlando’s Mo Bamba for four games and Minnesota’s Austin Rivers for three games for their roles in an on-court altercation on Friday night.
Jalen Suggs of the Magic will miss one game, the league said, for escalating the incident.
The league announced the suspensions Saturday. Bamba will forfeit $284,138 in salary, while Rivers will lose about $60,121 and Suggs will lose $47,740.
Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels was fined $20,000 for getting involved in the altercation. Bamba, Rivers, Suggs and McDaniels were all ejected, as was Minnesota’s Taurean Prince. The NBA did not give Prince any additional sanction on Saturday.
Bamba and Rivers threw punches during the incident, and the NBA said Suggs and McDaniels “then entered the altercation as non-peacemakers.” The league also said Bamba “attempted to continue to engage with Rivers in a hostile manner in the corridor outside the locker rooms where he also aggressively shoved a security representative.”
Both Rivers and Bamba had social media posts about the incident, which the league said continued the escalation.
Late in the third quarter on Friday, the scrap began with Rivers directly in front of the Magic bench as play was ongoing at the far end of the court. Bamba came off the bench and Rivers threw punches at him. Suggs later pulled Rivers away and swung him to the court. Jaden McDaniels and Taurean Prince joined the scrum.
McDaniels and Prince were all also ejected from the game, but will not receive any further punishment.
The altercation seemed to stem from talk from the Magic bench, particularly Bamba. A few moments earlier, Rivers missed a 3-point attempt in front of the Orlando bench, and Bamba and Markelle Fultz could be seen reacting to the miss.
Rivers said he approached the 7-foot, 231-pound Bamba about his comments.
“I’m not gonna snitch on the dude or whatever, but I just didn’t like the way he was talking to me,” said Rivers, listed at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds. “For no reason, too. I don’t even know that dude. I don’t know anything about him. Obviously, I just know he’s a player for the Magic. And he proceeded to talk, so that next possession, when I went down there, I just said, pretty much, ‘Just keep it respectful, bro.”’
Rivers later added: “I went up to him and I pressed him, and at that point, it can go one of two ways. I didn’t think we were going to get in a fight. But when you stand up that fast and put your hands up — he threw a punch and missed, thankfully. At that point, I’ve got to protect myself. Ain’t no one worried about him.”
The Magic ended up winning Friday’s game, 127-120.