Apparently the NBA league office lights stayed on late last night as they reviewed Dirk Nowitzki's Flagrant-2 foul from Friday night.
No word came down all day Saturday, even after the league officials spoke to Nowitzki to get his side of the story. Then on Sunday morning, the hammer dropped. The league suspended Nowitzki for one game, today's matinee at the Los Angeles Clippers.
It's the second time in successive seasons that Nowitzki has been suspended a game after a hard foul in Utah. Last season he got tangled with Andrei Kirilenko and after a take-down that landed the Russian hard on his back, the league reviewed and suspended Nowitzki.
The Mavs lost the next game at Houston without him. They'll need big efforts today from Josh Howard, Brandon Bass and James Singleton without their leading scorer and rebounder.
The suspension seemed apparent since Nowitzki struck Jazz forward Matt Harpring with a closed fist, even if it was in a backhanded motion.
But, after Saturday came and went without word from the league, it was thought that Nowitzki had skirted a suspension this time.
Turned out not to be the case.
-- Jeff Caplan