NEW YORK (AFP) – Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza and guard Gerald Green were each suspended two games by the NBA on Wednesday for a hostile confrontation with rivals in their opponents’ locker room.
The incident took place after the Los Angeles Clippers beat the visiting Rockets 113-102 on Monday.
A league investigation that included more than 20 interviews with coaches, players staff and executives from both teams plus arena personnel determined Ariza and Green entered the Clippers’ locker room just after the game and engaged in what an NBA statement called “a hostile, verbal altercation” with several Clippers players.
The probe also concluded that fellow Rockets players James Harden and Chris Paul, a former Clipper, followed Ariza and Green into the corridor outside the opposing locker room in a bid to calm the situation and will not face disciplinary action.
Ariza and Green will be suspended for Thursday’s Houston home game against Minnesota and a Saturday home showdown against the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors. They can return for a Monday home game against Miami.
The bans mar a weekend feature matchup pitting the Warriors, with the NBA’s best record at 36-9, against their nearest Western Conference rival in the Rockets, who are 30-12.
Green averages 15.6 points and 3.2 rebounds a game this season for the Rockets while Ariza averages 12.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 steals a game for Houston.
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