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Lakers’ World Peace suspended game for punch; Dwight Howard also out vs. Nets

Jason Maxiell, Metta World Peace

Detroit Pistons forward Jason Maxiell (54) and teammates confront Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace after his flagrant foul on Pistons guard Brandon Knight during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich., Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

AP

Down two starters, this could be a rough night for the Los Angeles Lakers in Brooklyn. Not sure we’ll see a lot of facilitator Kobe Bryant in this one.

Metta World Peace has been suspended one game by the NBA for throwing a punch that struck Detroit’s Brandon Knight in the jaw when the two teams faced off on Sunday. You can see the video above — Knight was trying to get rebounding position and was pushing with World Peace when the two got tangled up. But then MWP slips in a slight left to the jaw. Not an all-out punch but enough of one after the whistle had blown to get him ejected.

When you saw the video, you knew the suspension was coming. Missing one game costs him about $66,000 in salary. He will be out Tuesday night when the Lakers face the Nets in Brooklyn.

The Lakers also will be without Dwight Howard, who told reporters his shoulder is not well enough to play, tweets Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

That will mean Pau Gasol starts at center but the Lakers will be lacking depth on the wing (and a good defender) against a quality team from the East that needs some wins.