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NBA suspends Clippers' Matt Barnes for flagrant neck shove

By Ben Golliver

The NBA announced Friday that Clippers forward Matt Barnes has been suspended one game without pay for a flagrant foul 2 shove to the neck of Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma on Wednesday night.

With 8:26 remaining in the second quarter and the Timberwolves leading 33-25, Barnes took exception to a high screen from Stiemsma while defending J.J. Barea. Barnes initially shoved Stiemsma with both arms and then followed up by grabbing his neck and pushing his head backward. Stiemsma didn't fall to the floor and the two players engaged in a staredown until they could be separated by officials.

Barnes will serve his suspension when the Clippers play the Raptors in Toronto on Friday night.  Barnes is earning $1.2 million this season and the one-game suspension will cost him roughly $11,000.

This is Barnes' second suspension of the season. The NBA suspended him for the Clippers' season opener in October after he pleaded "no contest" following a July arrest.

Barnes was assessed a flagrant foul 2 immediately following the play, a designation that applies to fouls the referees deem as “unnecessary and excessive” and which requires an automatic ejection. He departed with zero points, one assists and one turnover in six minutes. The Clippers went on to defeat the Timberwolves 96-90.

The one-game suspension was the right decision and one The Point Forward anticipated on Wednesday night. His actions were totally unrelated to the game and undertaken with bad intentions.

Barnes, 32, is averaging 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game this season.

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