Game 4

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY AVA WAL­LACE ava.wal­lace@wash­

Celtics at Wiz­ards To­day, 6:30 p.m., TNT Bos­ton leads se­ries, 2-1 Oubre sus­pended: NBA bans for­ward one game for Game 3 shove on Bos­ton’s Olynyk.

The NBA on Satur­day sus­pended Wiz­ards re­serve for­ward Kelly Oubre Jr. for Game 4 of the team’s Eastern Con­fer­ence semi­fi­nal se­ries against the Celtics for his run­ning shove of Bos­ton big man Kelly Olynyk in Game 3.

The league said in a state­ment that Oubre was sus­pended for “charg­ing and mak­ing force­ful and un­war­ranted con­tact” with Olynyk. Oubre was as­sessed a fla­grant-two foul and ejected from the game.

Oubre was con­cerned about the pos­si­bil­ity of a sus­pen­sion al­most im­me­di­ately after leav­ing the floor, par­tic­u­larly con­sid­er­ing he made in­ad­ver­tent con­tact with ref­eree Monty McCutchen while charg­ing Olynyk. He wasn’t sur­prised to learn the news Satur­day.

“Just a con­se­quence for my ac­tions,” Oubre said. “Right now I’m just look­ing for­ward to my next game I’m able to play and get­ting bet­ter till then. To­mor­row my team­mates are go­ing to step up, hold it down. We’re a nextman-up team, so I have no wor­ries on that . . . the league has to do what they have to do. They have to han­dle the situation. It’s in the past, it hap­pened, they made it their rule and I have to fol­low it.”

The Wiz­ards trail the Celtics 2-1 in the se­ries head­ing into Sunday’s 6:30 p.m. tip at Ver­i­zon Cen­ter. Oubre’s ab­sence will force Washington Coach Scott Brooks to spread his min­utes around a bench that had just reached full strength Thurs­day, when backup cen­ter Ian Mahinmi fi­nally re­turned after a left calf strain.

Oubre has been pri­mar­ily a de­fen­sive cat­a­lyst for the Wiz­ards, par­tic­u­larly as an ex­tra body they can stick on Celtics point guard Isa­iah Thomas.

“We’ve had a next-man-up men­tal­ity all year,” Brooks said. “We’ve got op­tions, we can move some peo­ple around. But not hav­ing him, it’s not ideal, but it is what it is. You just go for­ward and play the game. You can’t worry about who’s not play­ing — but we’ve been in this situation. One time we started two rook­ies in our back­court when John and Brad did not play in Chicago, so we’ve al­ways had that men­tal­ity. Our guys have kind of bought into that, so I’m ex­cited to see how we play and who­ever I choose to play in those min­utes.

“I’m look­ing at all op­tions, maybe give some ex­tra min­utes, maybe add an­other guy, maybe change some spots on the floor with dif­fer­ent play­ers play­ing dif­fer­ent po­si­tions. Those are all on the table right now. We just have to pick one by to­mor­row early evening. Who­ever I pick I have full con­fi­dence in the guy or the situation we pick that they’re go­ing to play well.”

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