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REPORT: Blazers’ CJ McCollum, Kings’ Alex Len fined for shoving match

NBA, Blazers, Kings, Alex Len, CJ McCollum

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and Sacramento Kings big man Alex Len have each been fined by the NBA following their respective roles in an altercation during Saturday night’s game.

Len was fined $15,000 for shoving McCollum, while McCollum received a $20,000 penalty for shoving Len and “attempting to escalate the altercation.”

McCollum clearly took exception to a series of Len screens, though it seemed the two were merely playing physical. However, that is, until McCollum went right into Len’s chest.

The “escalation” was probably discerned from McCollum putting his dukes up and screaming back in Len’s face as players and coaches separated the two:

Surprisingly, neither player was ejected, though double technicals were assessed. McCollum finished the game with 19 points, six assists and four rebounds while Len chipped in with four boards in 10 minutes of action. The Kings built a 23-point lead in the first half and cruised to a 123-111 victory.

The fight somewhat distracted from the sheer importance of the game in the NBA standings for both playoff-chasing teams.

Sacramento officially moved ahead of the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference standings. They enter Sunday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors just 3.5 games back of the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. The Kings have been one of the best teams in the NBA in recent weeks, going 7-2 since the All-Star break.

The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, fell to 4.5 games behind the Grizzlies. Portland are just 3-6 since the break, though star guard Damian Lillard just returned to the rotation after recovering from the groin injury he suffered before the All-Star festivities.

Fortunately, neither team will be down a man moving forward, as both Alex Len and CJ McCollum avoided suspensions from the NBA