MIAMI — Heat forward Justise Winslow has been fined $15,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct for intentionally stepping on and attempting to damage the face mask of Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, the NBA announced Friday night.
The incident occurred with 7:51 remaining in the second quarter of the Heat’s 128-108 loss to the Sixers on Thursday in Game 3 at AmericanAirlines Arena. Embiid was wearing the mask to protect his fractured orbital bone, which forced him to miss Philadelphia’s previous 10 games.
When asked about his run-in with the mask, Winslow said following Thursday’s game: “[Embiid] kept throwing [the mask] on the ground. So I don’t know if he didn’t like it or what. But I was talking to JoJo. We were smack talking, trash talking, going back and fourth. But no love loss.”
Embiid didn’t seem too bothered by the incident because he has more masks in reserve.
“Justise stepped on it and tried to break it with his hands, but little does he know, I have about 50 of them,” Embiid said after Game 3. “So it’s going to take much more than that to get me out of this series. I’m going to be a nightmare for them, too.”
Embiid finished Game 3 with 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks in his playoff debut. The Sixers lead the first-round series 2-1, with Game 4 set for Saturday at 2:30 p.m.