May 20, 2006

Jason Terry Hits Michael Finley Where it Counts, NBA Playoffs

Jason Terry and Michael Finley dive for a loose ball, and then Jason Terry punches Michael Finley in the (apologies in advance) loose balls.

"During the 2006 second round of the NBA playoffs for the Western Conference, Dallas Maverick Jason Terry was suspended for Game 6 for hitting Spur Michael Finley. Source: Fox affiliate Fox 4 News in Dallas, TX."

Dallas Guard Terry Suspended for Punch

The Mavericks-Spurs series took another wild turn Thursday, with Dallas guard Jason Terry getting suspended from Game 6 for punching former teammate Michael Finley while chasing a loose ball in the closing seconds of Game 5.

Terry and Finley jostled with 3.4 seconds left in San Antonio's 98-97 victory on Wednesday night. Terry wound up on his back, grasping the ball, with Spurs forward Manu Ginobili forcing a jump ball by getting a hand on it, too.

While officials were sorting things out, Finley was visibly angry and had to be restrained by teammates. He appeared to be making a fist and telling his teammates that someone had punched him.

Nothing was called at the time and neither team mentioned the incident during postgame interviews. NBA vice president Stu Jackson said "clearly, something happened," so it was reviewed early Thursday.

Jackson said broadcast footage doesn't show the punch, but it was obvious when viewed from other angles. He also interviewed both players before handing down his ruling.

"There was no option here," Jackson said. "The rule is very clear cut. If you throw a punch, whether it connects or not, that will get you an automatic one-game suspension."

Terry left practice without speaking to reporters before the punishment was announced. He later missed his local radio show, but called in and said: "I just want to apologize to the team and the organization and the fans. This is definitely a sad situation. But, hey, life goes on. We've got to deal with it."

Posted at May 20, 2006 8:32 PM | TrackBack