Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. will be suspended for Sunday’s Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Boston Celtics for a physical altercation with Kelly Olynyk in the previous game, the league announced Saturday.
Oubre, angered by a pick set by Olynyk early in the second quarter of Game 3 Thursday, aggressively approached the Celtics center, who had been called for an illegal screen and was talking to the referee. Oubre shoved Olynyk, who fell hard to the floor as officials quickly attempted to separate the players on the floor and get them to their respective benches.
Oubre, who was assessed a flagrant 2 foul and ejected, will now miss Game 4 at Verizon Center with the Wizards trailing 2-1 in the series.
“It’s a consequence for my actions,” he said after practice Saturday. “I’m just looking forward to the next game I play [and] getting better. My teammates are going to step up and hold it down. We are a ‘next man up’ team.”
Oubre said he reached out to apologize to NBA official Monty McCutchen, who jumped in front of Oubre after he knocked down Olynyk.
Asked if he had reached out to Olynyk, he said, “No.”
The 21-year-old forward has averaged nearly nine points and three rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench for the Wizards in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Because of his long, 6’7″ frame, the Wizards use him to defend perimeter players.
Head coach Scott Brooks said Saturday he will depend on other reserves to not only play more minutes, but step up defensively against a Celtics team that ranked third in the NBA in 3-point attempts with an average of 33 per game.
Brooks said center Ian Mahinmi, who made his playoff debut in Game 3 after recuperating from a leg injury, may play a few more minutes after playing about 10 Thursday.
“We probably knew it was going to come back to that,” Brooks said of Oubre’s suspension. “We just want to play basketball. We’ve had a ‘next man up’ mentality all year. We’ve got some options. We can move some people around, but not having [Oubre] is not ideal. … But you just go forward and play the game.”
Game 4 tips off at Verizon Center Sunday at 6:30 p.m.