Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova has been suspended one game without pay for punching Sacramento Kings forward Reggie Evans in the stomach on Wednesday, the NBA announced Friday afternoon. Ilyasova will miss the Bucks' Friday night road game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The incident in question took place just past the midway point of the fourth quarter of Milwaukee's home game against Sacramento on Wednesday, with Ilyasova and Evans fighting for rebounding position and Ilyasova winding up doing a bit more fighting than Evans:
What exactly precipitated Ersan's bum rush remains unclear. Eric Buenning of Brew Hoop has some entertaining ideas, but only the ghostly Turk and his hirsute combatant know for sure whether the uncharacteristic aggression grew out of mounting frustration at Sacramento's big lead and physical play boiling over, or something a bit more specific.
At the time, the play resulted solely in a loose-ball foul on Ilyasova — perhaps the refs, like some observers, thought that noted simulator Evans might've embellished things a bit — but the league's disciplinary arm clearly thought otherwise after revisiting the videotape.
The Kings held onto their large advantage to score a 116-102 win over the Bucks, led by the power trio of point guard Isaiah Thomas (25 points, six assists, four steals), center DeMarcus Cousins (21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists) and Rudy Gay (22 points, seven rebounds, six assists). Ilyasova finished with nine points, five rebounds and two assists in the loss, Milwaukee's league-leading (or trailing, depending upon your perspective) 48th of the season.
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