Sacramento Kings guard Anthony Peeler was suspended two games without pay by the NBA on Monday for throwing elbows to the midsection and head of
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett in Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinals series.
Garnett was fined $7,500 for throwing an elbow to Peeler's chest during the incident, which occurred with 13.5 seconds left in the third quarter of
Sacramento's 104-87 victory Sunday.
Peeler will miss the decisive seventh game of the series, which will be played Wednesday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
The second game of Peeler's suspension will be either Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the Lakers should the Kings win on Wednesday, or
the first game of the 2004-05 regular season if the Kings lose.
The confrontation occurred when Peeler swung his left elbow to the abdomen that sent Garnett, the NBA MVP and a former Timberwolves teammate, to the
Garnett retaliated with a shoulder to Peeler's chest, and Peeler responded by elbowing Garnett to the jaw.
"I'm surprised that it was a little dirty," Garnett said. "I played with him a couple years, so I know what kind of player he is. It was surprising,
but I wasn't going to let anybody just hit me. Never have, never will."
Both players received technical fouls, but Peeler -- one of only seven Kings who see regular action -- was ejected.
"It was retaliation after he hit me with an elbow," Peeler said after the game. "It's always the guy that responds that is the one that gets suspended
or ejected. So if I get suspended or ejected, I think that he should as well."
Minnesota coach Flip Saunders described Peeler and Garnett as "the best of friends."
"I hope they still are," Saunders said. "AP competes and goes hard. He hits KG, KG retaliates and AP throws a punch. I've had AP for eight years and I
know he plays hard."
[Edited on 5/17/2004 by Ben]