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First-year Philadelphia 76ers head coach Nick Nurse’s wallet will be a little lighter after the NBA issued a $50,000 fine for his actions toward referees in a recent game. 

The Sixers’ Kelly Oubre Jr. was also assessed a $50,000 fine.

Philadelphia lost 108-107 to the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday. During the game, Nurse “aggressively” pursued and “verbally” abused the game’s officials, according to the league. Oubre’s actions during the heated confrontation were described as “obscene” with gestures directed at referees.

The game ended when Clippers star Kawhi Leonard blocked an Oubre attempt at the rim.

Nurse believed Oubre was fouled by Los Angeles’ Paul George while driving to the basket. Nurse went onto the court to argue and had to be restrained by assistants. Oubre pointed at each official before getting pulled away.


Referee Kevin Scott acknowledged in a pool report after the game that George should have been called for a foul on the play. If a foul had been called, Oubre would have gone to the free throw line with a chance to tie or win the game.

Kelly Oubre yells at refs

“In real time, the crew interpreted that play as the defender jumping vertically,” Scott said in a pool report. “However, in postgame video review, we did observe some slight drift to his left by the defender George, and a foul should have been ruled.”

Oubre later apologized for confronting the officials.

Kelly Oubre dribbling

“In the heat of the moment in an intense basketball game, of course, we’re not perfect. The refs are not perfect,” Oubre said. “I want to apologize for losing my cool because that’s something I work on each and every day and trying to represent God in the best way that I can. And that wasn’t it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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