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NBA suspends Hawks’ Dejounte Murray for bumping referee

Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks - Game Four

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 23: Dejounte Murray #5 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts against the Boston Celtics in the final seconds of the fourth quarter of Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at State Farm Arena on April 23, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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UPDATE: The NBA has suspended Dejounte Murray for Game 5 Tuesday night for “making inappropriate contact with and verbally abusing a game official.”

This was not a surprise but it is a blow to the Hawks. Murray will miss the game in Boston where Atlanta will try to avoid elimination, down 3-1 in this first-round series.


The Hawks were understandably frustrated after falling down 3-1 to the Celtics Sunday — frustrated with themselves but also the referees.

However, Dejounte Murray may have taken that frustration a step too far — he walked up to referee Gediminas Petraitis, bumped him and appeared to yell something in his ear.

The NBA is investigating the incident, reports Tim Bontemps of ESPN. In most cases, running into a referee like that is a one-game suspension.

Watching the video, that is not incidental contact — Murray walked up and bumped him. Expect the league to respond.

Murray has played well this series, averaging 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.3 steals through four games.

Game 5 is Tuesday in Boston. Expect the NBA to make its decision on Monday.