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PRESS BOX: Oklahoma State's Smart suspended 3 games

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Oklahoma State suspended star guard Marcus Smart three games for shoving a Texas Tech fan in the final seconds of Saturday night's game, coach Travis Ford announced Sunday.

Smart tried to block forward Jaye Crockett's dunk attempt from behind with 6.2 seconds to go and then stumbled out of bounds behind the basket.

Smart confronted Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr late during the game in Lubbock, Texas. Orr said something to the All-America guard that set him off. Smart shoved Orr with two hands, and teammates quickly pulled Smart away as he pointed back at Orr. Smart was given a technical foul and did not play the final seconds of the game.

Smart is averaging 17.5 points and 5.7 rebounds this season.

Sources told ESPN's Jeff Goodman that Smart believed Orr uttered a racial slur on Saturday. On Sunday, neither Smart nor Ford addressed what Orr said to provoke Smart's actions, but Orr issued a statement through Texas Tech's website claiming he did not use a racial slur and said he called Smart "a piece of crap."

According to ESPN, Orr also offered not to attend any more Texas Tech basketball games the rest of this season.

--Michigan State point guard Keith Appling, who has missed the last two games with a wrist injury, is expected to be out even longer.

"I've got a feeling Appling is out a couple of weeks," coach Tom Izzo said Sunday after the Spartans' 60-58 loss to Wisconsin.

Appling missed Thursday's 15-point win over Penn State and Sunday's game. Appling is averaging 15.0 points, 4.9 assists and shooting over 40 percent on 3-pointers this season.

NBA

The Detroit Pistons fired head coach Maurice Cheeks. The Pistons are 21-29 and a half-game behind the Charlotte Bobcats for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture and have won consecutive games.

Cheeks was in the first of a two-year contract with the team.

Assistant coach John Loyer will likely replace Cheeks in the interim, according to Yahoo! Sports. The Pistons host the San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

NBA coaching sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein that former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins has emerged as one of the primary contenders for the job.

--The Philadelphia 76ers recalled forward Arnett Moultrie from the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League. Moultrie (6-foot-10, 240 pounds) is scheduled to join the team in Los Angeles against the Clippers on Sunday night.

--The Phoenix Suns recalled guard Archie Goodwin from the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League. Goodwin, 19, averaged 24.3 points on 55.1 percent field-goal shooting and 4.7 rebounds in 29.7 minutes over three games during his second and most recent assignment with Bakersfield.

NHL

The Phoenix Coyotes assigned forward Tim Kennedy and defenseman Connor Murphy to the Portland Pirates, the club's American Hockey League affiliate.

--The Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned forward Vladislav Namestnikov and goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.
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