Jason Smith suspended 2 games for Blake Griffin hit

By Ben Golliver | Blogger


New Orleans Hornets forward Jason Smith trucked Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin, and now he's paying for it.

The NBA announced on Friday that Smith has been suspended for two games for the flagrant foul 2 he leveled against Griffin on Thursday night.ESPN.com first reportedthe terms of the suspension.
Jason Smith of the New Orleans Hornets has been suspended two games without pay for his Flagrant Foul Two against Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

The incident, in which Smith made excessive contact with the upper body of Griffin, occurred with 4:06 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Hornets 97-90 win over the Clippers on March 22 at New Orleans Arena.
The Hornets host the San Antonio Spurs in New Orleans on Saturday and travel to face the Clippers in Los Angeles on Monday. Smith will be eligible to return to action for a Wednesday night game at the Golden State Warriors in Oakland.

Smith's hit occurred during the fourth quarter when Griffin attacked the basket in transition. Smith raced back to play defense but, unable to get in between Griffin and the hoop, he opted to simply bodycheck him at full speed, knocking Griffin to the ground. Griffin rolled around on the court in pain for an extended period of time and Smith was eventually ejected. New Orleans went on to upset Los Angeles 97-90.

Hornets.com reported that Smith apologized to Griffin following the game.

"I didn't want to give him an easy layup (but) there are a ton better ways to go about it," Smith said.

Smith, 26, is averaging 8.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 22.0 minutes per game for the Hornets this season.

Smith is on the books this season for $2.5 million. A 2-game suspension without pay equates to roughly $75,000 if calculated at a pro-rated level over this 66-game season.

During the 2010-2011 season, then Portland Trail Blazers guard Andre Miller was suspended one game for bodyslamming Griffin in a similar manner.
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