NEW YORK – Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schröder has been fined $25,000 for making contact to the groin area of Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker and Tucker has been fined $25,000 for approaching Schröder and making contact with him in escalation of the altercation, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
Upon League Office review, it was determined that Tucker’s contact with Schröder did not meet the standard for a headbutt. The incident, for which Schröder was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected and for which Tucker was assessed a technical foul and ejected, occurred with 6:51 remaining in the third quarter of the Rockets’ 114-80 win over the Thunder on Aug. 29 at The Field House on the campus of ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando.
As Schroder ran through a Tucker screen, he swung his arm between Tucker's legs, catching him below the belt. Tucker, who was whistled for an illegal screen, walked up behind Schroder, yelling at him and eventually head-butting the back of his head. After a review, the foul on Tucker stood, but the officials ejected both players, with Schroder given a flagrant foul 2 and Tucker a dead-ball technical foul with an ejection.
On Sunday, the league said in a statement that Schroder was fined "for making contact to the groin area" of Tucker. It said Tucker was fined "for approaching Schroder and making contact with him in escalation of the altercation" but that his contact with the veteran guard "did not meet the standard for a headbutt."
While both players will have to cough up some cash, the good news for their respective teams is that neither player was suspended for a pivotal Game 6, as they will both be greatly needed. The Rockets hold a 3-2 lead in the series, and they will look to close things out Monday, while the Thunder will hope to push the series to a seventh game.