NBA Cries Foul, Slaps Anthony With 15-Game Suspension - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/18/06-NEW YORK

NBA Cries Foul, Slaps Anthony With 15-Game Suspension

 The Denver Nuggets were the bigger losers Monday after the NBA handed out penalties in the fight that broke out near the end of Saturday night's game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Denver's Carmelo Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer, was suspended 15 games for sucker-punching the Knicks' Mardy Collins. Denver teammate J.R. Smith and New York's Nate Robinson also received the stiffest of penalties issued by the league - 10-game suspensions.

But there was no separate penalty for Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, who had warned Anthony not to go into the lane before the mayhem started Saturday night.

Both franchises were fined $500,000.

"It is our obligation to take the strongest possible steps to avoid such failures in the future and to make a statement to all who follow the game of basketball that we understand our obligations and take them seriously," NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement.

Collins, whose hard foul of Smith was the flashpoint for the fight, was suspended for six games. Knicks forward Jared Jeffries was suspended for four games, and New York's Jerome James and Denver's Nene were hit with one-game penalties for leaving their respective benches during an on-court altercation.

The NBA is still trying to repair its image after the brawl between Indiana Pacers players and Detroit Pistons fans two years ago.

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