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Kings' DeMarcus Cousins suspended for punch, fined for verbal abuse of official

The NBA has suspended Kings center DeMarcus Cousins for one game and fined him $20,000 for his involvement in two separate incidents during Sacramento's 129-103 loss to Houston on Tuesday. The fourth-year center will be unavailable when the Kings travel to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Friday. A one-game suspension without pay will cost Cousins roughly $44,000.

Cousins drew the suspension for "punching" Rockets guard Patrick Beverley in the stomach less than three minutes into the game.With a little less than 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter and Sacramento leading 5-4, Beverley cut through the paint to create space for Dwight Howard to operate in isolation on the block. As he crossed the paint, swung his right fist up into Beverley's midsection, causing Beverley to flinch in pain. No foul was called on the off-the-ball action.

The fine was assessed for Cousins' behavior following his ejection in the third quarter, as he "verbally abused" an official and failed to leave the court in a timely manner. Cousins' ejection occurred with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter and Houston leading 73-54. Rockets center Dwight Howard stretched to finish an alley-oop dunk with Cousins underneath him. After the slam attempt missed, Cousins was called for a foul for leaning in Howard's direction, although there didn't appear to be much contact between the players.

After initially questioning the foul, Cousins was assessed a technical foul after Howard attempted his first free throw. Again, Cousins disputed that call and raised his hands as if to ask what he had done. At the next dead ball, Kings coach Michael Malone stood up for Cousins, but Cousins joined the conversation, shouting at referee Courtney Kirkland as Kings assistant coach Corliss Williamson tried to restrain him.

Kirkland then assessed Cousins a second technical foul, which triggered an automatic ejection, and Cousins lashed out one more time, attempting to confront Kirkland before he was escorted off the court. Cousins departed with 16 points (on 6-for-13 shooting) and six rebounds in 20 minutes.

After the game, Cousins issued an apology on Twitter.

"Disappointed with the way I acted out on the court tonight," he wrote. "I want to apologize and say sorry to my team and the fans for letting them down."

RELATED: DeMarcus Cousins calls Mike Dunleavy a "clown"

Cousins now has a league-high 15 technical fouls on the season and will face a one-game suspension following his next technical foul. This was his first ejection of the season. Last year, Cousins racked up a league-high 17 technical fouls and four ejections.

Back in December 2012, Cousins was suspended for one game after he delivered a low blow to then-Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo. Earlier this season, Cousins was the victim of a low blow from Hawks guard Dennis  Schröder.

Bottom Video via YouTube user cjzerovids | Hat tip: @CJZero

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