NEW YORK — The Lakers have concerns beyond when Dwight Howard’s aggravated right shoulder will become healthy again.
They’re also entering tonights’ game against the Brooklyn Nets without Metta World Peace, who’s serving a one-game suspension without pay after the NBA determined he grabbed the neck of Detroit guard Brandon Knight and struck him in the jaw during the Lakers’ win Sunday against the Pistons.
World Peace picked up a flagrant foul type 1 with 1:43 remaining in the second period, an incident that instantly prompted Pistons fans to jeer the former Ron Artest for his previous involvement eight year ago at the Palace where he charged into stands after a fan threw a drink at him. That incident drew an 86-game suspension.
The NBA assessed the ruling shortly after the Lakers’ morning shootaround ended at New York Athletic Club, making it both unclear if the team was aware about the ruling and who will start in World Peace’s place. He has averaged 13.2 points per game in 34.4 minutes this season, his highest output in four seasons with the Lakers. But he’s shot only 31 percent from the field in the past five games.
The replay above shows World Peace initially locking up with Knight before tussling with him. Although the NBA’s review confirms Knight’s charge that World Peace punched him, the contact looked fairly limited.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org