Thanasis Antetokounmpo receives 1-game suspension for headbutting Blake Griffin

The play came in the final moments of the Celtics' blowout win over the Bucks on Sunday.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo received a one-game suspension for headbutting Blake Griffin. AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s decision to headbutt Blake Griffin cost him more than just playing in the final minute of the Celtics’ blowout win over the Bucks on Thursday.

Antetokounmpo received a one-game suspension for Thursday’s action, the league announced Saturday. He’ll serve the suspension in the Bucks’ next game, which is against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

Antetokounmpo’s suspension likely won’t cost the Bucks. He’s played in just 33 games this season, mostly playing in garbage time of games that have already been decided. Sunday’s 76ers-Bucks game has some importance to the Celtics though, as it’ll likely move them a step closer to locking up a top-two seed – or it could help them inch closer to taking the No. 1 seed in the East.

The ejection of Antetokounmpo in Thursday’s game was on the front end of back-to-back games in which Griffin might have instigated an opposing player to be ejected.


In the Celtics’ win over the Jazz on Friday, Utah guard Kris Dunn received a technical for confronting Griffin after he took the ball out of Dunn’s hands. Moments later, Dunn was hit with a second technical for continued arguing.

Unlike Thursday’s game, Griffin played more than just the closing minutes in the Celtics’ win on Friday. He started and played 25 minutes. While he scored only six points, Griffin made numerous hustle plays that resulted in 12 rebounds (five of which were offensive), a steal, and five assists.

Griffin also attempted to take a good amount of charges, too. It was plays like that that drew praise from Jayson Tatum.

“Blake is one of the best,” Tatum told reporters. “A true professional. Accepting his role that he’s in. He don’t play for some games, guys are off, now he starts, plays 25 minutes, 12 rebounds, took some charges. And it’s just great to see somebody that was essentially at the top of this league and now in a different role and he doesn’t have an ego at all. And [he] essentially does whatever he needs to do to help us be a better team each and every night.”


Griffin could see some more playing time in the final week of the regular season. As the Celtics’ playoff seed might be decided soon, Boston could opt to rest Al Horford and Robert Williams at some point in the final four games, which would likely give Griffin another chance to start.


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