Marbury suspended

The Baltimore Sun

The New York Knicks needed Stephon Marbury to play, then suspended him a game and docked him nearly $400,000 in salary yesterday after saying he refused.

The disgruntled guard insists he never told coach Mike D'Antoni "no" and plans to appeal.

D'Antoni wouldn't go into specifics of their conversation that took place before Wednesday's loss in Detroit, though he made it clear he asked the point guard to play because the Knicks were short-handed.

Marbury will not be paid when he sits out tonight's home game against the Golden State Warriors and will lose an additional game's pay for Wednesday's actions. He earns approximately $21 million in salary this year, drawing about $190,000 a game.

Marbury told NBC in an interview that there wasn't a jersey in his locker in Detroit and he was "shocked" he was "suspended for no reason."

Marbury said he and D'Antoni spoke Wednesday morning and "basically went our separate ways."

"I never told him I was not going to play," Marbury said. "That's basically why I'm getting suspended. If I were to have said I'm not going to play, that's an automatic suspension, which I basically got suspended anyway."

The players association plans to file a grievance on Marbury's behalf.

Cavaliers: : LeBron James reacted strongly to Charles Barkley's comments that he isn't showing respect for Cleveland fans and his teammates by discussing his possible free agency after the 2010 season. "He's stupid. That's all I've got to say about that," James said. "If I was LeBron James, I would shut ... up," the Hall of Famer said on Dan Patrick's radio show. "I'm a big LeBron fan. ... I'm getting so annoyed he's talking about what he's going to do in two years. I think it's disrespectful to the game. I think it's disrespectful to the Cavaliers."

Last night's games

Heat 107, Suns 92: : Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 43 points, and visiting Miami beat Phoenix in the first matchup between the teams since the Shaquille O'Neal-for-Shawn Marion blockbuster trade in February. O'Neal and Marion weren't big factors in the game dominated by the unstoppable Wade. O'Neal scored 12 points and Marion had 10. The Suns played without the injured Steve Nash (thigh).

Spurs 109, Grizzlies 98:: Tony Parker had 15 points and seven assists in his first game in three weeks to lead host San Antonio. Manu Ginobili scored 14 points and Tim Duncan added 11. The Spurs have won four straight and have their three All-Stars healthy for the first time this season. In his first game since spraining his ankle Nov. 7, Parker fearlessly charged toward the basket and faked out defenders the way he did before missing the past nine games. O.J. Mayo scored 32 points for Memphis.

Pistons 107, Bucks 97: : Allen Iverson scored 17 points in his first game as a reserve this season, leading host Detroit over Milwaukee. Iverson was benched by Pistons coach Michael Curry to begin the game, punishment for missing a mandatory team practice on Thanksgiving. He apologized yesterday morning, then sat on the bench for almost 10 minutes as Rodney Stuckey started instead.

Celtics 102, 76ers 78: : Ray Allen scored 23 points and Kevin Garnett added 16 to lead host Boston to its seventh straight victory.

Raptors 93, Hawks 88: : Chris Bosh had 30 points and 10 rebounds, Jason Kapono scored 16 points and host Toronto beat Atlanta. Mike Bibby scored 24 points for the Hawks.

Cavaliers 112, Warriors 97:: James scored 23 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas added a season-high 21 and Cleveland matched its best home start in franchise history. The Cavaliers have won 12 of 13 and are a league-best 9-0 at home.

Timberwolves 105, Thunder 103: : Craig Smith scored a season-high 23 points, Mike Miller hit a game-winning jumper from the left baseline with 0.1 of a second left, and visiting Minnesota handed Oklahoma City a franchise-record-tying 14th straight loss.

Jazz, 120, Kings 94: : Deron Williams had nine of his 15 assists during a 44-point third quarter, and host Utah pulled away for a victory over Sacramento. Williams finished with 13 points.

Bobcats 115, Pacers 108, OT: : Raymond Felton tied a career high with 31 points, and visiting Charlotte beat Indiana in overtime. Danny Granger had a season-high 35 points for the Pacers.

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