POSTED: Dec 12, 2012 8:40 PM ET
NEW YORK (AP) — Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins was suspended for one game without pay by the NBA on Wednesday for striking Dallas' O.J. Mayo in the groin area in the Kings' road loss Monday night.
Cousins sat out the Kings' game Wednesday night at Milwaukee.
"Obviously, you miss a tremendous piece to your team when you have been playing pretty decent of late," Kings coach Keith Smart said before the game against the Bucks. "When you lose a guy like Cousins it's tough because you can't replace what he brings to your team. We are going to try, but it won't be easy."
It's the second suspension of the season for Cousins, who missed two games in November after confronting San Antonio Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliott following a game.
Cousins leads the Kings in scoring (17.2 points per game), rebounds (9.9) and steals (1.4). He had 25 points in 35 minutes in the 119-96 loss at Dallas on Monday.
"They (the NBA) are making the message very clear," Smart said. "There is nothing that you can do that won't be seen by the league. Sometimes during the course of a basketball game there are going to be things that may happen, and players will sometimes target certain players. DeMarcus has to be a bigger man and move away from anything that may distract him because it hurts our team. ... One thing is very clear: The league will not tolerate any of this."