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Payton suspended for arguing with ref after ejection

2/5/2007 - NBA Gary Payton Miami Heat + more

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.