NBA won't suspend Kidd for Game 5 vs. Hornets

Updated: April 29, 2008, 12:46 AM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

The NBA has ruled that Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd will not be suspended or fined for Game 5 in New Orleans after his hard takedown of Hornets guard Jannero Pargo in Game 4.

[+] EnlargeJason Kidd
Glenn James/NBAE/Getty ImagesJason Kidd, left, was ejected with 7:16 to play in Game 4 after yanking the Hornets' Jannero Pargo down on a fast break.

Kidd was ejected with 7:16 to play in Dallas' 97-84 Game 4 loss to New Orleans after yanking Pargo down on a fast break. Kidd was hit with a Type 2 flagrant foul, which results in an automatic ejection, but he was spared a one-game suspension Monday after the league office reviewed the play.

The league made a similar ruling last week by declining to suspend Washington's Brendan Haywood after Haywood's hard Game 2 foul on Cleveland's LeBron James.

Kidd's foul was reminiscent of a foul committed by Mavs teammate Dirk Nowitzki on Utah's Andrei Kirilenko in March, which resulted in a one-game suspension for Nowitzki, but Nowitzki was assessed only a Type 1 flagrant foul and was not ejected from the Utah game. It's believed that Kidd's ejection helped him avoid a suspension.

Yet Kidd might have been saved most by Pargo's deft landing. With New Orleans up by 16, Pargo was pulled down in the neck and shoulder area and was heading for the floor headfirst when he managed to get his hands down to break the fall. Kidd insisted later that it wasn't a frustration foul -- which brought an early end to his worst game since the Mavs acquired him in a trade with New Jersey in February -- and Hornets star Chris Paul urged the league to take no further action.

"I don't think there's [any] reason for him to be suspended for the next game," Paul said.

Kidd totaled just three points, three assists and four rebounds in 28 punchless minutes as the Hornets took a 3-1 series lead, putting Dallas on the brink of its second consecutive first-round exit after going to the 2006 NBA Finals.

The Mavericks responded to the defeat by unexpectedly canceling practice Monday and their scheduled off-day media session, which likely spared Mavs coach Avery Johnson questions about his job security and Mavs swingman Josh Howard more unwanted scrutiny after his nightmare series continued in Game 4 with a 3-for-16 shooting performance from the field.

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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