Sunday , Jun , 18 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Stackhouse suspended for Game 5

New York, NY (Sports Network) – The Dallas Mavericks will be without guard Jerry Stackhouse for Game 5 of the NBA Finals as he was suspended for his hit on Miami center Shaquille O’Neal during Game 4 on Thursday.

"The contact by Jerry Stackhouse was clearly excessive and warrants a suspension," said Stu Jackson, NBA Senior Vice President Basketball Operations.

The foul, which was upgraded to a Flagrant Foul Penalty Two, occurred with 6:29 remaining in the third quarter of the Mavericks’ 98-74 loss to the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Mavericks have lost the last two contests of the best-of-seven series, which is even heading into Sunday’s game in Miami.

Midway through the third quarter, Jason Williams came up with a loose ball and slowed up on the fast break to leave the ball for O’Neal for a dunk. Stackhouse plowed into O’Neal, sending his 7-foot-1, 325-pound frame tumbling into the photographer’s row, under the basket.

"When Shaq is going to the basket, we want to try and make him go to the free throw line and earn it," Stackhouse said after the game. "Just a hard play."

Dwyane Wade wrapped his arms around his teammate, preventing O’Neal from receiving his second technical foul of the night, which would have been an automatic ejection.

"My impression was my daughters tackle me harder when I come home," O’Neal chuckled about the foul after the game. "It actually felt pretty good to get hit like that. Thank you, Jerry. Appreciate it."

Stackhouse is averaging 13 points per game in the finals and 13.8 per contest in the playoffs.