NBA suspends Bucks' Thanasis Antetokounmpo for head-butting Celtics' Blake Griffin

The NBA on Saturday suspended Milwaukee Bucks forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo for head-butting Boston Celtics forward Blake Griffin on Thursday.

The incident took place with 1:25 remaining in Boston's 140-99 win when Griffin challenged Antetokounmpo's layup attempt. Antetokounmpo responded by head-butting Griffin, and a scuffle involving multiple players broke out under the basket. Tensions were at high the end of a blowout game between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.

Officials issued Antetokounmpo a flagrant 2 foul, which comes with an automatic ejection. Griffin was issued a flagrant 1 for his physical defense on the play. Antetokounmpo will serve his one-game suspension on April 2 when the Bucks visit the Philadelphia 76ers. The NBA did not further discipline Griffin.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo (43) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Thanasis Antetokounmpo will serve a one-game suspension against the 76ers. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Antetokounmpo's ban is unlikely to have an impact on the basketball front as the Bucks look to maintain control of home-court advantage in the postseason. The Bucks hold a 1.5-game lead over the Celtics and a four-game edge over the 76ers for first place in the Eastern Conference, which will likely come with home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Denver Nuggets are three games behind with the best record in the West with five games left in the regular season.

Antetokounmpo is not a regular part of the Bucks rotation. He's averaged 0.8 points and 0.9 rebounds in 4.2 minutes per game while playing in 33 of Milwaukee's 77 games this season.