NBA suspends Dejounte Murray for bumping referee ahead of Celtics-Hawks elimination game

Dejounte Murray has been suspended by the NBA for Game 5 of the Atlanta Hawks’ first round series with the Boston Celtics after bumping an official during Game 4, the league has announced. The Celtics have a 3-1 series lead on the Hawks going into Game 5. If Atlanta loses, their season will be over.

As the Celtics pulled away for a 129-121 victory in Game 4, Murray made contact with a referee. That’s a no-no. Here’s video of the bump that got Murray suspended for an elimination game:

This is a devastating loss for Atlanta given the stakes of Game 5. Murray has been the Hawks’ best player in the series, averaging 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 2.3 steals per game against Boston while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from three.

The first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs have been full of controversy so far. Murray gets the second suspension of the postseason after the NBA suspended Draymond Green for Game 3 of the Warriors-Kings series after he stomped on Domantas Sabonis’ chest. These playoffs have already seen James Harden get ejected for pushing off a defender on a drive, and Dillon Brooks get ejected for hitting LeBron James between the legs. Neither were suspended, but Murray will be.

Atlanta fans were quick to point out that Boston star Jayson Tatum also made contact with a ref in Game 4:

Murray’s season might be over with this Game 5 suspension. It’s not how he wanted to go out in his first year in Atlanta.