Randolph gets 2-game suspension
LOS ANGELES -- The Clippers played the second game of their home-and-home set against the Phoenix Suns without center Zach Randolph, who began serving a two-game suspension without pay Wednesday night following a violent exchange with Louis Amundson in Tuesday's humiliating 140-100 loss.
Randolph and Amundson were jockeying for position in the paint on a 3-pointer by Ricky Davis in the waning moments of Phoenix's 41-point first quarter. Randolph shoved the Suns' reserve forward to the floor with his forearm, then hit Amundson in the face with an open hand after Amundson got back to his feet. He was immediately ejected while Amundson remained in the game.
Randolph also will miss Sunday's contest at Portland, but that was the least of his problems. Coach Mike Dunleavy revealed Wednesday that his leading scorer was playing with a short emotional fuse because of a family emergency.
"Zach had a lot of frustration last night," Dunleavy said. "He just received word on his dad being very sick, and he had a lot on his mind. I think that contributed to something that he probably wouldn't want to have happen again."
Randolph got word from his sister prior to the game in Phoenix that their father, who is in his mid-50s, was being taken into intensive care at an Indianapolis hospital. The suspension allowed Randolph to fly to Indianapolis to be with his with his family.
"It was just one of those things," Dunleavy said. "He said to me on the phone today, 'Coach, man, I'm sorry. I had a lot of stuff going through my head. I got frustrated with all the pulling and tugging and holding, and I just reacted. It was dumb.' By the time he tallies up his paycheck, it'll be real dumb for him."
When asked about the length of the suspension before Wednesday's game, Suns interim coach Alvin Gentry said he understood why Randolph acted the way he did.
"It was an incident that happened, and it's unfortunate, but I know Zach has some other problems that he's dealing with right now," Gentry said. "It's hard what he's going through right now, so I sympathize with him. I don't think anybody realizes the impact that has -- when you find out that somebody that you love dearly is suffering.
"I don't think Zach's a bad guy, and anybody who knows Zach knows he's not a bad guy. It's just kind of unfortunate that it happened. I wish Zach the best, because it's a tough situation for him."
Randolph forfeits $133,333 per game in salary.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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