NBA suspends Sanders, fines two Pacers
MILWAUKEE — Bucks forward Larry Sanders has been suspended two games by the NBA for his actions Thursday night in Indiana.
Late in the fourth quarter of Milwaukee’s loss to the Pacers, Sanders picked up three personal fouls and two technicals in the span of 19 seconds as he fouled out and was simultaneously ejected. However, that wasn’t what earned Sanders the suspension.
After being assessed his second technical for pointing at the official and yelling, Sanders bumped Indiana center Roy Hibbert, who then fall on top of a downed Danny Granger.
As Sanders took a few steps towards the Bucks bench, he took issue with Pacers guard George Hill, who did not appear to say anything. Sanders pointed in Hill’s face and yelled a few comments, prompting David West to step in and gesture back at Sanders. Both Granger and West were fined $25,000 Friday for their actions, but were not suspended.
Sanders needed to be held back by teammate Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, while West was being restrained by Indiana coach Frank Vogel. However, Sanders soon escaped Mbah a Moute and ran toward West. After being intercepted again by Mbah a Moute, Sanders made one last dash in the Pacers direction before finally exiting the court toward the locker room as Indiana fans booed him loudly.
“I just didn’t want him to do something stupid,” Mbah a Moute said of Sanders. “I didn’t want it to get to that point (of a fight). I saw (Sanders) was very upset and he was trying to go at (West), so I just tried to hold him back. They’re physical, we play physical, sometimes it happens.”
When Bucks coach Scott Skiles was asked about the incident after the game, he responded: “The league will handle that. I’ll let the league handle that. I don’t have any comment on it. No comment.”
It took the NBA only 18 hours to handle it, handing Sanders a suspension for two of the Bucks’ final four regular season games as their playoff hopes have nearly ended.
“It was just emotions,” Sanders said after the game. “I’ve just got to control them. I wouldn’t say it’s just one thing. We’re all competitors out there. Unfortunately, that’s what it got to. I just have to handle the situation better.”
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