The Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard and Quentin Richardson received suspensions from the NBA Thursday for separate offenses committed in Wednesday night's overtime victory against the Charlotte Bobcats, the league announced. Howard earned an automatic one-game suspension for picking up his 18th technical foul; the league reviews each technical foul called and deserves the right to change it or rescind it outright, but let this one stand. League rules stipulate a player is suspended for one game without pay upon receiving his 16th technical foul, and earns a one-game suspension for every two technical fouls he accrues after his 16th.
Separately, the league suspended Quentin Richardson for two games due to his role in an altercation with the Bobcats' Gerald Henderson in the fourth quarter. The two players began to argue during a dead ball following Richardson being called for a personal foul guarding Henderson. The exchange escalated quickly, and Richardson shoved Henderson in the face with both hands.
Once the players were separated, referee Tony Brothers, the closest one to the play, reviewed the film and assessed two technical fouls on Richardson and one on Henderson. Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu and the Bobcats' Kwame Brown received double-technical fouls for getting mixed up with one another as well.
Howard and Richardson will miss Sunday's game against the Chicago Bulls at Amway Center, a nationally televised game meant to showcase two of the top teams in the East. Richardson will also miss the Magic's next game, a visit to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers the next day.
The Magic's regular season concludes next Wednesday, April 13th, with a home date against the Indiana Pacers.
The suspensions are ill-timed for Orlando. Missing Richardson puts pressure on Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, the Magic's only other healthy wing players, to log heavy minutes; the team is still without top reserve J.J. Redick, a shooting guard, due to a sore abdomen.
The Magic don't have a true backup for Howard at center, instead relying on starting power forward Brandon Bass and his backup, Ryan Anderson, to mop up at center the few minutes per game coach Stan Van Gundy can afford to rest Howard. Veteran power forward Malik Allen is also available to fill that role if necessary.