Despite a 26-point victory over the Suns yesterday, the No. 2 seed in the West, the Spurs were fined $25K by the NBA for resting three nominally available players in the contest, including DeMar DeRozan, as Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News details.
In a press release, the league said that it was penalizing San Antonio for sitting DeRozan, starting center Jakob Poeltl, and key reserve guard Patty Mills during “the same road game.” Orsborn tweets that San Antonio sat Mills and point guard Dejounte Murray against the Cavaliers last month without a similar financial ding from the league.
Orbsorn notes that the Spurs were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, and have been struggling through a brutal second-half schedule for the 2020/21 season, where they will have played 40 games in 68 days.
Given the impressive nature of the victory and recent outcry over an unusually compressed season schedule this year, the league’s punitive decision here is interesting. The Spurs beat a healthy Phoenix team. The Suns’ All-Star back court of Chris Paul and Devin Booker scored a combined 21 points on 9-of-28 shooting from the field.
At 27-28, the Spurs are clinging to the No. 10 seed in the West by 2.5 games over the Pelicans as of this writing. The Suns are 40-16, 1.5 games behind the top-seeded Jazz.
The Raptors were also fined $25K this weekend for violating the NBA’s policies on rest and injury reporting.