Squabbling! (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
The Golden State Warriors will be without starting power forward David Lee when they take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in a nationally televised game on Wednesday night, as the NBA suspended the Western Conference All-Star for his part in a multi-player fourth-quarter scuffle during the Warriors' Tuesday night loss to the Indiana Pacers.
With the Pacers up 10 midway through the fourth quarter on Tuesday, Lee banged into Indy center Roy Hibbert as Pacers power forward David West was both shooting and being fouled by Golden State big man Andris Biedrins. Hibbert shoved back, and Lee responded by getting right in Hibbert's mug, then bumping him in the chest. This drew the attention and presence of several other players, including Golden State guard Stephen Curry, who rushed in (presumably to play peacemaker) and got tossed to the floor by Hibbert for his trouble, and West, who rolled into the scene and — in the inimitable words of my Y! Sports colleague Marc J. Spears — "Debo'd like three Warriors" before turning his attention toward settling things down. (Reminder: You don't want it with David West.)
A slew of other people got involved, too, as the fracas spilled over into the first couple of rows of courtside seats; while no fans were involved or harmed, the fact that things escalated to the point where the altercation left the playing surface — and that the referees saw fit to eject Hibbert, issue technicals to Lee, Curry, West and Warriors guard Klay Thompson — suggested additional punishment would be forthcoming. Sure enough, it was.
USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick broke Lee's suspension Wednesday afternoon, with Howard Beck of the New York Times confirming it soon after. The NBA made the official announcement about 20 minutes after Amick's tweet, revealing that Lee and Hibbert had been suspended for one game for "instigating the altercation," and that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Pacers guard Lance Stephenson had each been fined $35,000 for "escalating the altercation."
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