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Hawks’ Pachulia, Magic’s Richardson both suspended for Game 4

Apr 23, 2011, 3:13 PM EDT

Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks - Game Three Getty Images

The only real question was would it be one game or two.

The answer is one. The league announced a one-game suspension for both Zaza Pachulia of Atlanta and Jason Richardson of Orlando for their scuffle in the fourth quarter of Game 3 Wednesday. Both will sit out Game 4 Sunday.

The whole thing started when Pachulia gave a hard but clean foul to Dwight Howard as he went in to score, and Howard gave Zaza a sneaky little elbow back to the face on the follow through (Howard did get a deserved technical for that once the refs saw the video). Pachulia — a perennial instigator — stood up to Howard and that is when Richardson rushed in to protect the Magic star. The scuffle itself was a lot of open handed nonsense.

Usually, you would call this trade a win for Atlanta — it loses a backup center who doesn’t play a big role, Orlando loses its third leading scorer and a starter. Except, Richardson has been terrible shooting this series — 26.7 percent from three — and J.J. Redick will replace him. Who has brought more energy the last few games but is just 1-of-9 from three. So this could work out for Orlando. Or not.

Game 4 pretty much is a must-win on the road for the Magic, who trail the Hawks 2-1 in the series.

  1. trbowman - Apr 23, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Hilton Armstrong should see some run for the Hawks, then.

  2. jstrizzle - Apr 23, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    As far as what I have seen Zaza is the only one that has really disrupted Dwight. It will be an interesting game 4 that is for sure.

    • andyhr17 - Apr 23, 2011 at 4:51 PM

      I think this definitely hurts the Magic more than the Hawks. The Hawks have already shown that they can let Dwight Howard rack up a ton of points and rebound….but if you shut down the rest of the Magic they are very beatable.

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