Hawks suspend F Josh Smith two games

ATLANTA (Ticker) - Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith, banished to the locker room Sunday after an argument with coach Mike Woodson, was suspended by the team Monday.

Smith was suspended two games for conduct detrimental to the team, Hawks executive vice president and general manager Billy Knight announced. The team will have no other statement.

Smith scored 16 points in regulation of Sunday’s 109-104 loss at Philadelphia, missing a jump shot with 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter that could have given Atlanta the lead.

The third-year forward began arguing with Woodson on the sidelines and was sent to the locker room, continuing to have his say as he left. After the game, Woodson explained his actions.

“I had sent him in because of conduct but we’ll address that when we get back to Atlanta,” the coach said after the game. “You’ve got to be able to control your emotions on our bench. He didn’t and I had to send him in.”

The 2005 Slam Dunk champion as a rookie, Smith is having the best season of his career. He is averaging career highs of 16.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.9 blocks. He is second in the NBA in blocks and 18th in rebounds.

The 6-9 Smith, who entered the league directly out of high school, will miss home games against Boston on Tuesday and Washington on Friday. He will be eligible to return Saturday at Cleveland.

The absence of Smith leaves the Hawks (82-49) more shorthanded. They already are without All-Star guard Joe Johnson, swingman Josh Childress, center Zaza Pachulia and guard Speedy Claxton due to injuries.

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Updated Monday, Apr 9, 2007