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News » Nowitzki suspended for flagrant foul on Harpring


Nowitzki suspended for flagrant foul on Harpring


Nowitzki suspended for flagrant foul on Harpring
Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki was unable to escape a one-game suspension for the Flagrant-2 foul he committed against Jazz forward Matt Harpring in Utah's win over the Mavericks last Friday night.

The Mavs forward on Sunday morning was suspended by the NBA without pay -- it will cost him $164,344.58 of his roughly $18 million annual salary -- and had to sit out Sunday's road game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Nowitzki -- a former NBA MVP -- was ejected from Friday's game after hitting Harpring in the face with a flailing, backhanded fist.

It happened during the fourth quarter of a physical game, on a play in which Harpring had pushed the Mavs big man -- after Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko admittedly had, moments earlier and on the same play, pushed Nowitzki in the back to get a rebound and make a layup.

The one-game suspension is mandated when a player swings or punches with a fist or open hand -- even if no contact is made.

Contact was made between Nowitzki, who hasn't commented since the incident, and Harpring.

Harpring later told reporters he's been hit harder before, though he also was quoted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as having said, "He just turned around and threw a nice little punch. I mean, what are you going to do? I can't retaliate. I don't want to get fined. I don't want to lose any money there. So you just take it."

The game's opposing coaches had somewhat different opinions of the play.

"He (Nowitzki) had a pretty good shot at him from where I was looking," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said.

Said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle on Friday: "It appeared to me to be accidental."

The Mavericks didn't learn of the ruling until the league formally made it Sunday.

Boston star Kevin Garnett was suspended one game for a similar incident earlier this season involving University of Utah product Andrew Bogut of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Nowitzki also was suspended one game last season for knocking Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko to the floor during a March game in Utah, though that time he was not ejected.

COLLINS AVAILABLE: With three primary big men hurting -- two-time All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer has missed 20 straight games with a strained left quadriceps tendon and bruised kneecap, starting center Mehmet Okur has missed three with muscle spasms in his lower back and replacement-starter power forward Paul Millsap has missed two with a sprained posterior cruciate knee ligament -- also-injured reserve Jarron Collins has made himself available for the Jazz's last two games.

But he didn't play in either.

"He hasn't really worked out that much. He needs a little more Basketball time," said Sloan, who chose not to turn to Collins in Friday's game against Dallas or Saturday's loss at Houston because youngsters Fesenko and Kosta Koufos were getting the job done.

"(But) we don't have practice (often). He's got to do a lot of it on his own, which I think he's done," Sloan added. "He's worked pretty hard ... to get back in the feel of things."

Collins has missed 24 games this season and hasn't played since last Nov. 17 due to inflammation in his right elbow, which he hurt in an offseason golf-cart tip-over.

He wasn't supposed to return until sometime after getting reevaluated in early January, but changed those plans after Boozer, Okur and Millsap all were down late last week.

"I came back a little early," Collins said. "But it's a situation where we're shorthanded and I just wanted to make myself available if coach needed me. It's that simple."

ALUMNI UPDATES: According to the Charlotte Observer, former Jazz guard Raja Bell -- now with the Bobcats following a trade earlier this season from Phoenix -- "was in considerable pain" after straining his left groin muscle in Saturday night's game against New Jersey.

Bell had scored 18 points before the leaving the game, including four 3-pointers.

Meanwhile, ex-Jazz guard Keith McLeod earlier this month joined Dallas' NBA Development League affiliate, the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, as a free agent.

McLeod had a good chance of sticking with the Mavericks, but hurt his right hamstring and was released before the season started. Contributing: Jody Genessy E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 30, 2008

 

 
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