The NBA punished Joakim Noah for his outburst during Monday night's game against the Sacramento Kings, fining the Chicago Bulls center $15,000 for verbally abusing the officials in the Bulls' 99-70 loss in Sleep Train Arena.

Noah directed a profanity-filled tirade at the referees after he received a second technical foul and automatic ejection in the third quarter. He pointed at each official and shouted an expletive before leaving the floor.

"I'm really disappointed," Noah said after the game. "I shouldn't have acted that way. I apologize. I'm sorry to all three referees out there. They're out there trying to do their jobs, and I should never have said the things that I said."

---Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash, who has not played since Nov. 10 because of a back problem, was to start Tuesday night, coach Mike D'Antoni announced.

The Lakers (16-31) visit the Minnesota Timberwolves (22-34) at Target Center.

The Los Angeles Daily News reported that Nash will play the first 5-8 minutes of the game and then sit the rest of the first half, and then repeat that pattern for the second half. Nash will sit out the back-to-back Wednesday game when the Lakers head to Cleveland.

---One day after expressing discontent with the Philadelphia 76ers over being kept off the floor, second-year forward Arnett Moultrie was assigned to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League on Tuesday.

Moultrie underwent left ankle surgery in September and was sidelined through late December, but he has yet to appear in a game since returning to practice prior to the new year. On Monday, Moultrie complained to the Delaware County Daily Times about his playing time.

"It's not my ankle. It's not my conditioning," Moultrie told the newspaper. "But at this point, I really don't care. I'm just sick of all the excuses. If it ain't one thing, it's another thing."

---The Atlanta Hawks assigned guard Jared Cunningham to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League, the team announced Tuesday.

Cunningham, who was recalled from Bakersfield on Jan. 23, has averaged 15.2 points, 4.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 29.8 minutes in 17 games (14 starts) over three stints with the Jam this season. He has appeared in five games with the Hawks this year.