New York: Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was handed a one-game suspension by the NBA on Saturday for hitting San Antonio`s Matt Bonner in the groin with an uppercut, the league announced.
The ban without pay came for what was whistled as a flagrant foul, one that resulted in rookie Smart`s ejection with 8:56 remaining in the fourth quarter of San Antonio`s 101-89 triumph Friday over the visiting Celtics.
Smart, who was coming off a season-high 25 points in a loss to Oklahoma City, will serve his suspension on Sunday when the Celtics play host to the Detroit Pistons in a matchup of clubs fighting for playoff spots.
The Celtics are 30-38 and level with the Indiana Pacers for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth, one win ahead of Charlotte and two wins and a loss ahead of Brooklyn. The Pistons, 24-44, are six games back with only 14 games remaining in the regular season.