The Phoenix Suns have been fined $25,000 for failing to disclose Devin Booker’s injury status for their Game 6 first-round win over the New Orleans Pelicans in « an accurate and timely manner, » the NBA announced Saturday.
Booker suffered a Grade 1 sprain to his right hamstring in Game 2 against New Orleans after scoring 31 points in the first half.
The All-Star guard was out of the lineup for nine days, missing Games 3-5, before returning for Game 6 on Thursday.
Booker scored 13 points on 5-for-12 shooting (1-for-6 from 3) in his return, adding five rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes in the win.
« I thought he was fine, » Suns coach Monty Williams said after practice Saturday when asked about how Booker’s hamstring held up. « When I talked to him, he was straight with me, like, ‘Coach, I’m fine, I feel strong.’ But when you watched the film, he did find places where you saw he might go or he might run full speed back in transition — it wasn’t like he was cheating the game, he was just more efficient.
« He hadn’t played in over a week, so that probably had a lot to do with it, but in the second half I thought I saw more of an effort to just play. And we needed it. »
Since announcing DraftKings and FanDuel as their « co-official » sports betting partners in November 2021, the league has placed a greater priority on teams following the injury report protocol, as player status information is paramount to the integrity of wagers being placed on the games .
Phoenix, the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed, hosts the No. 4-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the conference semifinals starting with Monday’s Game 1.