Clippers' Patrick Beverley Fined $25K for Verbally Abusing Ref vs. Nuggets

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers' Patrick Beverley (21) reacts to a call by referee Pat Fraher (26) during the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Beverley was ejected from the game. The Nuggets won 110-101. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley has been fined $25,000 for "verbal abuse" of an official during Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Denver Nuggets, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. 

Beverley was ejected in the fourth quarter of the 110-101 loss after arguing with referees following two quick foul calls against him. He quickly earned two technicals and was sent off.  

Beverley, 32, missed five games of the team's first-round series win over the Dallas Mavericks due to injury but returned to the starting lineup for a Game 1 win against the Nuggets. 

While the Clippers have eased him back into the rotation—he played just 12 minutes in Game 1 and 15 minutes in Game 2—he instantly made a difference with his defensive intensity. 

"He gives us energy," head coach Doc Rivers said Thursday, per Farbod Esnaashari of "We're not a particularly loud team on the floor defensively. Pat is, in a lot of ways, with that starting lineup, he's a defensive captain with his voice. He calls out coverages. He holds everybody responsible. And to have that voice to start games is just invaluable."

"He's such a contagious guy with energy and effort that it just flows through the team," Paul George added. "It was great to have him back on that floor with us."

That energy perhaps got the best of him at the end of Game 2, however. 

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Having a player like Beverley to help slow down Jamal Murray in particular—the Nuggets star is averaging 28.9 points per game in the postseason and has scored 50 or more points twice in these playoffs and 35 or more points five times—is crucial for the Clippers. 

Few teams can rotate a number of high-end perimeter defenders onto opposing scorers like the Clippers can offer with Beverley, Kawhi Leonard and George. Beverley doing the dirty work on the defensive end is important for a Clippers team with title aspirations. That means keeping him on the court is just as important.