Payton suspended for arguing with ref after ejection

Updated: February 5, 2007, 10:38 PM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- Heat guard Gary Payton was suspended one game without pay Monday for talking back to an official who ejected him during a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

Gary Payton
Payton

Payton served the suspension Monday night when Miami hosted the Charlotte Bobcats.

"We got a call yesterday that it might happen," Heat interim coach Ron Rothstein said Monday.

Payton is averaging 5.6 points and 2.9 assists this season, both career lows.

The 16-year veteran, starting in place of an injured Jason Williams, was ejected by Mark Davis for arguing a call just before halftime Saturday. Before leaving the floor, Payton leaned in close and said something to Davis.

The Heat won the game 117-98.

The suspension hurts the point guard-depleted Heat. Williams has missed the last three games because of an abdominal strain. He was in uniform for Monday night's game, but seldom-used rookie Chris Quinn made his first career start.

"I have a lot of confidence in that kid," Rothstein said. "The kid knows how to play the game. He's a very good ball mover. He might be one of our best facilitators, if not our best. His timing of his passes is solid."

Rothstein said Williams would only be used in an emergency.

By starting Quinn, the Heat freed up leading scorer Dwyane Wade from point guard responsibilities.

"This way Dwyane doesn't have to be on the ball early on," Rothstein said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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