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NBA suspends Garnett for headbutt

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NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett and Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard were disciplined by the NBA for their incident in Monday’s game.

Garnett was suspended one game and plans to serve the suspension Wednesday when the Nets play the Orlando Magic. Howard was fined $15,000 “for pushing Garnett in the neck area,” the NBA announced.

Garnett was ejected from Monday’s game in the first quarter following the altercation with Howard.

As Garnett jockeyed for position under the basket four minutes into the game, Houston forward Donatas Motiejunas threw a pass toward Howard.

Garnett was positioned behind Howard near the baseline, and while fouling Howard, he came up with the ball. Howard took a small slap at Garnett’s chest, and Garnett then threw the ball off the back of Howard’s jersey. Howard took exception with a right forearm, and then Garnett headbutted him on the right side of the face.

After the headbutt, Howard attempted another slap toward Garnett before referee Marat Kogut interceded.

Houston coach Kevin McHale said it was no big deal compared to the incidents during his playing days in the 1980s with the Boston Celtics Harden was unsure about what happened, and Howard said “I don’t know” twice during a 10-question interview session with reporters that lasted slightly under two minutes.

“In the good old days that was a play on,” said McHale, who also added he didn’t see any punches thrown. “Now they throw people out. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.”

Added Howard after saying he didn’t know: “It doesn’t matter. We won the game. That’s all what matters.

Following a lengthy review by the officials, Garnett was assessed a personal foul, and a double technical was assessed to both players.

Houston held a 17-14 lead at the time of the incident.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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