Ron Artest faces suspension for Game 3
LOS ANGELES -- As if things weren't already looking bleak for the Los Angeles Lakers, there's a good chance they will have to play Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals series against the Dallas Mavericks without forward Ron Artest.
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With 24.4 seconds left in the Mavericks' 93-81 win over the Lakers on Wednesday, Artest reached out with his right hand and grabbed Mavericks guard Jose Juan Barea by the face and basically clotheslined him. Artest was immediately ejected after picking up his second technical foul.
Artest was out of position and had to run through Lakers forward Lamar Odom to get to Barea, who took a minute to recover before making two free throws to seal the Mavericks' win and give Dallas a stunning 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
After the game, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he expected Artest to miss Friday's Game 3 in Dallas.
"It was uncalled for," Jackson said. "There's a good chance he'll be suspended. I hope not."
Artest's elbow to Mavericks center Tyson Chandler late in the second quarter earned him his first technical. Barea wouldn't comment on Artest's possible suspension after the game.
"I think the league will take a look at it and we'll see what happens," Barea said. "It's not a basketball play. We'll see what happens."
Arash Markazi is a columnist and writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.