Kevin Garnett Suspended for Game 2
Kevin Garnett has been suspended one game for striking the Miami Heat's Quentin Richardson in the head with an elbow late in Boston's Game 1 win on Saturday, the NBA announced Sunday. Richardson has been fined $25,000 for his role in the altercation. The Celtics and Heat play Game 2 of their first-round series on Tuesday in Boston.
The altercation began with 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter. After Paul Pierce fell to the floor with an apparent injury, Garnett came to his side to check on him. Richardson soon followed but Garnett appeared to take offense by his presence, nudging him with an elbow as he approached. Garnett and Richardson then began jawing at each other, and as more players stepped forward to separate the two, Garnett swung an elbow that connected with Richardson's temple.
It wasn't exactly clear at the time whether Garnett intended to strike Richardson or if he was merely swinging his arms to free himself from those pulling him away, but after reviewing video replays, the referees assessed him with a pair of technical fouls, earning him an automatic ejection. Stu Jackson, the NBA's executive vice president in charge of doling out punishment, obviously agreed it was intentional.
Richardson admitted after the game that he didn't believe Pierce was actually hurt: "I was trying to get over there to take the ball out of bounds, and he started talking to me, so I talked back. Nobody has no business talking to [Pierce]. He's on the ground, crying. I don't know what's going on. Two actresses over there, that's what they are.''
Garnett expressed no regrets for the incident when speaking to reporters Sunday, indicating he was merely trying to clear space for Pierce. "Not at all," Garnett said calmly. "I would hope if I was hurt or if I was down in that position someone would at least give me some space to sort of recover or to gather myself. That's the only thing I was asking for."
Despite the obvious bad feelings on Saturday night -- "I don't like them and they know it," Richardson said after the game -- Richardson doesn't appear to hold a grudge.
"He is trying to do what he can to help his team. I don't have a problem with that," Richardson told reporters Sunday. "I'm going to do what I can to help my team."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.