- The Washington Times - Friday, May 8, 2009

From combined dispatches

NEW YORK | Orlando Magic guard Rafer Alston and Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher were each suspended for the next game of their playoff series.

In the Magic’s 112-94 loss Tuesday night, Boston’s Eddie House was celebrating after making a shot when Alston reached out and slapped him in the back of the head. Each received a technical foul after standing face-to-face for a few seconds before referees intervened.

Alston contended afterward that House goaded him into the play. A Magic spokesman said Alston was not planning to comment until Friday’s morning shootaround.

For Los Angeles, Fisher was called for a flagrant foul when he collided with Luis Scola, who was setting a pick, as the Rockets brought the ball up the court. He was ejected.

Both players will sit out games Friday. The Magic are at home, tied 1-1 with Boston, while the Lakers will be in Houston. That series is also 1-1.

Nowitzki having ‘tough time’

DALLAS | All-Star Dirk Nowitzki offered no explanation about the arrest of a woman at his home, saying only that he is having personal troubles now.

When asked about his relationship with 37-year-old Cristal Taylor, who was arrested on a probation violation and theft of services warrants Wednesday, Nowitzki declined comment.

“It’s pretty obvious that I’m going through a tough time in my personal life right now, but like I always have, I want to kind of keep my private life private,” he said. “I’m not at the stage where I can talk about it yet and feel comfortable talking about it.”

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