The NBA announced Saturday that Bucks guard O.J. Mayo has been suspended for one game without pay for "forcibly striking" Pelicans center Greg Stiemsma in the throat during Milwaukee's 112-104 road loss on Friday. Mayo will serve his suspension on Saturday when the Bucks host the Wizards in Milwaukee.
With the Pelicans leading 21-19 and a little under two minutes left in the first quarter, Stiemsma set a screen on Mayo to free Anthony Morrow for a jumper. Mayo took exception to the screen, which doubled him over, and lashed out by grabbing Stiemsma's right wrist with his left hand before throwing his right forearm into Stiemsma's throat area. The blow sent Stiemsma's head flying backwards.
After a video review, Mayo was assessed a flagrant foul 2, a designation that applies for fouls the referees deem are “unnecessary and excessive” and which requires an automatic ejection. He departed with zero points (on 0-1 shooting) and one rebound in three minutes.
"I reacted the wrong way and handled it for sure the wrong way," Mayo said afterwards, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Mayo, 26, is averaging 11.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists this season. He is on the books for $8 million this season and a one-game suspension will cost him roughly $72,000.
This has been a particularly frustrating week within a nightmare season for the Bucks, who also lost Ersan Ilyasova to a one-game suspension after he punched Kings forward Reggie Evans in the midsection on Wednesday.
Milwaukee enters Saturday's action with the league's worst record at 12-49.