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Jazz notebook: Blazer suspended for punch

Giricek makes his return; Malone glares into town

Published: Friday, July 31 2015 3:46 p.m. MDT

Portland coach Maurice Cheeks, left, grabs Jazz's Raul Lopez as Andrei Kirilenko holds Ruben Patterson. (Greg Wahl-Stephens, Associated Press) Portland coach Maurice Cheeks, left, grabs Jazz's Raul Lopez as Andrei Kirilenko holds Ruben Patterson. (Greg Wahl-Stephens, Associated Press)
Portland played the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night without starting power forward Zach Randolph, who was suspended by the NBA for throwing a punch at the Jazz's Raja Bell in the Trail Blazers' Saturday night win over Utah.
The incident occurred with just less than five minutes remaining in the final quarter of Portland's 91-70 victory.
According to statement from NBA basketball operations senior vice president Stu Jackson, Randolph was suspended for swinging at Bell while Bell was on the floor.
Bell was ejected with a type-2 flagrant foul for his role in the incident, which occurred after his hard foul on Portland's Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who was racing downcourt following a steal from Bell.
The altercation escalated when Randolph and Blazer teammate Ruben Patterson both joined the fray, and Bell went down.
Abdur-Rahim and Patterson both were assessed technical fouls. Randolph's punishment followed after Jackson reviewed the fracas on videotape.
The Jazz have not been informed of any fine or punishment beyond that which automatically comes from a flagrant-2, a Jazz spokesman said Sunday.
If that holds up through today, Bell will be able to play in Utah's Delta Center game tonight vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.

HEADS UP: After a 91-70 loss at Portland on Saturday night, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was concerned about the reaction of the some of his young players — rookie starting shooting guard Sasha Pavlovic, in particular — when things don't go their way.
"If something goes wrong, they shake their head for five seconds — and feel sorry for themselves for another five seconds," Sloan said. "By that time, the play's over.
"If they're gonna play in this league and ever have a chance to be effective," he added, "they've got to learn how to go on when they make a mistake or they miss a shot."

HE'S BACK: Jazz swingman Gordan Giricek is expected to return tonight vs. the Lakers after missing two games to be in Orlando with his wife, Natasha, for the birth of their first child, a girl named Lara.

NO COMMENT: Despite the fact a small throng of fans, crews from two television stations, one newspaper reporter and a wire service writer were all standing outside in the cold waiting for him to arrive, former Jazz star Karl Malone of the Lakers entered L.A.'s team hotel in downtown Salt Lake City with only a glare — and no comment — Sunday night.


Contributing: Linda Hamilton.
E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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