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NBA suspends Budenholzer for one game

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has been suspended for one game by the NBA for making contact with an official during Friday’s loss to the Cavaliers, the league announced.

Budenholzer will miss Sunday’s game against the Pacers.

The announcement was made by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations for the NBA.

The incident occurred with 2:42 remaining in the third quarter of the Hawks’ 135-130 loss. The Hawks trailed 94-80 when LeBron James knocked Kent Bazemore to the ground on a drive and pull-up jump shot. Budenholzer argued the call and bumped official Brian Forte as he ran up court.

Budenholzer was issued a technical foul on the play, his fourth of the season. (Here is the video of the play.)

“I fully understand and respect the decision of the NBA,” Budenholzer said in a statement released by the team. “I plan to reach out to Brian as soon as possible and intend to apologize for the contact that I made during last night’s game. The referees have the most difficult job on the court and do an outstanding job of managing the needs of the game, players and coaches. I accept the suspension, will learn from it and look forward to moving beyond this.”

Forte worked the Grizzlies at Rockets game Saturday night.

Lead assistant Darvin Ham will assume head coaching responsibilities against the Pacers.

“I thought there should have been a foul on the drive and push off,” Budenholzer said Friday when asked by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the technical foul. “It happened in the heat of the moment. The refs, they do the best they can. They do a great job. It’s not easy to officiate. Our guys, their guys, it’s all tough. I wanted that call. They do a great job every night.”

It is the second time that Budenholzer has been disciplined by the league for making contact with an official. Budenholzer received a technical foul and was ejected for making contract with referee Ben Taylor during a loss the Cavaliers in November, 2015. He was later fined $25,000 but not suspended for the incident.

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