Thomas goes bump in the night, gets him­self tossed

Con­tact with of­fi­cial earns quick ejec­tion from Fri­day’s game

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - SPORTS - By Har­vey Valen­tine


WASH­ING­TON — The Wash­ing­ton Wizards were al­ready short-handed, then Isa­iah Thomas was lost less than 90 sec­onds into Fri­day night’s game when he was ejected for mak­ing con­tact with a ref­eree.

That left them too de­pleted to keep up with the Port­land Trail Blaz­ers and their po­tent back­court. Damian Lil­lard scored 35 points, CJ McCol­lum added 24 and the Trail Blaz­ers beat the Wizards 122-103 to snap a five-game los­ing streak.

Has­san White­side added 23 points, 21 re­bounds and five blocks for Port­land.

“A lot of winnable games we kind of squan­dered, so this was one we needed to get,” McCol­l­lum said af­ter he and Lil­lard bounced back from com­bined 11-of-36 shoot­ing in a loss to the Knicks. “Now we’ve got to move for­ward.”

Thomas was tied up along the side­line by Port­land’s Carmelo An­thony. As he broke away from An­thony, he made con­tact with ref­eree Marat Kogut, who stum­bled. Thomas was thrown out with 10 min­utes, 32 sec­onds left in the open­ing quar­ter.

“He made phys­i­cal con­tact with the ref­eree,” ref­eree Mark Ay­otte said in a pool re­port. “It was def­i­nitely just a push dur­ing the dead ball con­tact with the ref­eree.”

Wizards coach Scott Brooks thought the con­tact was ac­ci­den­tal.

“They were in a scrum and were fight­ing for the ball,” he said. “I had a view that it looked like he lost his balance. But [Kogut] had a bet­ter view and then they looked at it, so you would hope they made the right call.”

Thomas wasn’t in the locker room af­ter the game. On Satur­day, he was fined $25,000 by the NBA for “mak­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­tact” with an of­fi­cial.

“I didn’t re­ally pay much at­ten­tion to the con­tact and I was stand­ing right there,” Lil­lard said. “I thought he just fell into him. And that was it. They re­viewed it and they kind of stood their ground on it.”

Thomas re­ceived a two-game sus­pen­sion af­ter walk­ing into the stands to con­front two fans fol­low­ing a time­out in Philadel­phia on Dec. 21.

Jor­dan McRae scored a sea­son-high 35 points, in­clud­ing 13 in the fourth quar­ter, for Wash­ing­ton. Gar­ri­son Mathews added 18 points and Ish Smith scored 16 for the Wizards, who have lost four of five.

Play­ing with­out Bradley Beal, Wash­ing­ton’s top three scor­ers were re­serves.

Beal is day to day. He re­turned Wed­nes­day against Or­lando af­ter miss­ing two games with lower leg sore­ness and col­lided with the Magic’s Jonathan Isaac early on. Brooks said the col­li­sion ag­gra­vated Beal’s in­jury.

McCol­lum started an 11-1 run in the third quar­ter with a jumper and then added a 3-pointer to make it 73-64. White­side scored four straight points on a tip-in and layup and, af­ter a Wash­ing­ton free throw, Lil­lard hit two foul shots to put Port­land up 79-65.

McRae’s 3-pointer pulled Wash­ing­ton within 103-96 with 5:54 left, but Lil­lard an­swered with five quick points to make it 108-96.

“We’re a young team,“McRae said. “We’re try­ing to fig­ure out ways to win those games in the last five min­utes. You’ve got to get stops [and] you’ve got to be ef­fi­cient on the of­fen­sive end.”


Wizards guard Isa­iah Thomas re­acts as he is ejected less than 90 sec­onds into Fri­day’s game for mak­ing con­tact with an of­fi­cial.

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