NBA’s Longest Consecutive-Games Streak Ends
Posted Mar 14 2008 8:43PM
NEW YORK, March 14, 2008 -- San Antonio forward Bruce Bowen was suspended for one game without pay Friday for kicking Hornets point guard Chris Paul.
The suspension, leveled for Friday night's Spurs-Pistons matchup at The Palace, ended Bowen's consecutive-games streak at 500.
Bowen began his streak, the longest in the NBA, on Feb. 28, 2002, and he started every game until San Antonio's visit to Detroit. Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince took the league lead in starts with his 338th in a row.
The altercation happened after Paul was called for a foul with 5:15 left in the third quarter of the Spurs' 100-75 loss to New Orleans on Wednesday.
Besides his streak, Bowen will lose about $37,000.
"The league is trying to send him a message more than anything,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "The incident itself, I've watched a lot of times, and there was no real contact. It doesn't reach the level of other suspensions that I've seen, either in physicality or harm.''
Bowen has built a reputation as one of the NBA's best defenders and perhaps its most physical on the perimeter, but also has become reknown for taking that physicality a bit too far at times.
Popovich said the suspension was a tough way for Bowen's streak to end.
"I'm sure he's very disappointed,'' Popovich said. "He was very proud of that. He takes great pride in taking care of himself, especially at his age.''
The 36-year-old Bowen is averaging 5.8 points and 2.7 rebounds this season. He was on the NBA All-Defensive team the previous seven seasons and was runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year the last three seasons.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.