- Associated Press - Sunday, April 23, 2017

CHICAGO | The NBA fined Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo $25,000 for attempting to trip Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder from the bench in Game 3 of their first-round series.

The league announced the fine hours before Game 4 tipped off on Sunday.

“I’ve said it all along this year: He’s been as good a teammate and person to coach as I’ve ever been around, at any level, as far as my playing days and everything,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. “Rajon is always going to go out, he’s going to compete, he’s going to give guys advice, and he’s been an absolute pleasure all year.”

The incident happened with 31.1 seconds remaining in the first quarter on Friday.

Crowder jawed at the Bulls’ bench after hitting a jumper and Rondo — sidelined by a broken right thumb — extended his leg as Crowder walked by.

The top-seeded Celtics went on to win 104-87 after dropping the first two games at home. Rondo said afterward he was simply stretching his leg.

“When you tear an ACL, your leg gets stiff every once in a while,” Rondo said after Friday’s game. “I was stretching my leg out. I always do that throughout the game, I guess he was so deep in our bench, it looked like what may have happened, happened.”

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