NBA Notes: League reduces a pair of suspensions

  • Fri Dec 23rd, 2011 9:49pm
  • Sports

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The NBA has reduced suspensions for the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum and the Pistons’ Charlie Villanueva by one game because of the shortened season.

The league on Friday trimmed one game off the five-game ban Bynum was given for knocking the Mavericks’ J.J. Barea to the court in the second round of last season’s playoffs. The center will now miss the first four games and be eligible to return Dec. 31 against Denver.

Villanueva was originally suspended five games for instigating an altercation with Cleveland’s Ryan Hollins and attempting to escalate it by entering the Cavaliers’ locker room. He served a game of it last season and will have to miss the first three of this season, and is also eligible to play to New Year’s Eve against Indiana.

Lopez out 8 weeks or more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — With the prospect of a trade for Dwight Howard fading and the season opener less than a week away, New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson was getting a feel for his team. That all changed Thursday when center Brook Lopez broke his right foot, an injury that left Johnson shaking his head and considering his options. Lopez, the Nets’ leading scorer, had surgery Friday for a nondisplaced fracture. He was hurt in a preseason game against the Knicks on Wednesday and will be sidelined at least six weeks and probably more.

Pierce might miss opener

WALTHAM, Mass. — Celtics guard Paul Pierce didn’t practice Friday because of a nagging heel injury and might not play in Boston’s season opener against the Knicks in New York on Christmas Day. Pierce did shoot after the session, but coach Doc Rivers wasn’t optimistic his captain would be available Sunday, when the Celtics and Knicks play one of the NBA’s five season openers.

Arthur has torn tendon

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur has had season-ending surgery to repair a torn right Achilles tendon. The team announced Friday that Arthur is expected to be ready for the 2012-13 season. He suffered the injury Dec. 18. Last season Arthur averaged 9.1 points and shot about 50 percent in his third NBA season.