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NBA issues next-day technical to DeMarcus Cousins for shoving Devin Booker, Cameron Payne

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There was a lot happening at the end of Tuesday's Western Conference finals game. 

So when DeMarcus Cousins shoved Devin Booker and Cameron Payne after the Phoenix Suns' stunning last-second win, it got lost in the shuffle. Upon review, the NBA has issued the Los Angeles Clippers center a technical foul. 

The league announced the decision Wednesday afternoon.

What happened

The incident occurred in the chaotic aftermath of Deandre Ayton's alley-oop inbounds dunk that secured the 104-103 Suns win. Players, coaches and staff from both teams walked on the floor in addition to media members documenting the scene.

Suns players were jubilant, with good reason. Cousins was demonstrably not. He and Payne bumped shoulders and appeared to exchange pleasantries before Cousins walked up to the Suns guard and shoved him. When Booker subsequently stepped in Cousins' path, he got a shove too.

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The situation didn't escalate as players kept their distance and officials eventually reviewed the play to suss out what happened. As they took their time in the last of several lengthy replay reviews in Tuesday's fourth quarter, they apparently didn't take Cousins' shoves into consideration. 

A technical foul shot for the Suns ultimately wouldn't have made a difference in the game's outcome. But officials decided on Wednesday that it was worth getting Cousins' infraction on the official record. 

Game 3 will shift to Los Angeles on Thursday with the Suns holding a 2-0 lead and expecting to get Chris Paul back from COVID-19 protocols. The Suns are -1000 betting favorites to win the series and advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993.

Jun 20, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeMarcus Cousins (15) reacts against the Phoenix Suns in the second half during game one of the Western Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Officials issued DeMarcus Cousins a technical foul for a pair of late-game shoves on Tuesday. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

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