Around the NBA

CELTICS FINED

The Boston Celtics confirmed the team has been fined $30,000 by the NBA for excessive contact with the family of Texas star freshman and likely lottery draft pick Kevin Durant.  General Manager Danny Ainge sat next to Durant’s mother during the Big 12 tournament.  The league said Ainge violated rules demanding that contact be kept to a minimum between team executives and potential NBA draft picks, until college players officially declare for the draft.

BRICKS

Heat guard Gary Payton missed Miami’s game with Orlando with a strained right groin.  His status is day to day, the team said.

HAPPENINGS

All-Star guard Chauncy Billups missed Detroit’s matchup with the Dallas Mavericks because of a groin injury.  “I had a pretty good indication he wasn’t going to go when I saw him walk in,” Pistons coach Flip Saunders said before the game.  “He had on a really nice suit, so I suspected he knew he’d be wearing it on the bench. 

Knicks reserve Malik Rose was hit with a technical foul while sitting on the bench in the first quarter.

Miami has lost only twice in 42 home games during February and March since Shaquille O’Neal was Acquired three years ago.