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NBA notebook — Feb. 4

Associated Press

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Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has been fined by the NBA for yelling at the officials after he was ejected from a game at Sacramento.

The league announced the $15,000 penalty on Tuesday.

Noah received two technical fouls in less than three minutes during the third quarter of Chicago’s 99-70 loss on Monday night. The All-Star gestured at the referees and yelled obscenities as he was escorted off the court at the 7:40 mark.

Noah apologized for his actions after the game.

LAKERS CLEAR NASH — The Los Angeles Lakers have cleared point guard Steve Nash to play for the first time in almost three months.

Both Nash and Steve Blake were back in the starting lineup Tuesday at Minnesota. Nash had been out with a bad back, while Blake was sidelined by an elbow injury.

Coach Mike D’Antoni said before the game that Nash would be limited to the first eight minutes of each half. The Lakers play today at Cleveland, and Nash won’t take part in that one.

“It’s a really tricky injury. I’m not going to take anything for granted. I’m just happy to get a chance to play tonight,” Nash said.

Blake was in action for the first time since Dec. 10. He’s been out with a torn ligament in his right elbow. Fellow point guard Jordan Farmar, who hasn’t played since Dec. 31 due to a torn left hamstring, has been cleared to return, too. D’Antoni said his plan was to hold him out against the Timberwolves and play him against the Cavaliers.

T’WOLVES TO BUILD — The Minnesota Timberwolves have finalized a plan to build a practice facility across the street from their arena in a vacant former movie theater.

The Timberwolves and their sister WNBA franchise the Minnesota Lynx announced Tuesday a partnership with the Mayo Clinic, which will open a sports medicine clinic adjacent to the basketball areas. This is part of a redevelopment of the building known as Block E, a failed retail and entertainment complex that opened in 2001 but has been largely empty for years. It will be renamed Mayo Clinic Square.

The Timberwolves and Lynx have used a cramped space in the basement of Target Center for their practice court and strength and conditioning work.

The new $20 million facility will open prior to the 2014-15 NBA season.


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