Kris Dunn Suspended for Fight With Rockets’ Jabari Smith Jr.


For their on-court altercation in an eventual 147-119 Houston Rockets blowout win on Saturday, reserve Utah Jazz point guard Kris Dunn and starting Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr. have both been suspended without pay by the NBA. The league made the announcement yesterday in a press release via its PR team’s official Twitter/X page. Dunn will miss two games, while Smith will be shelved for just one.

As the presser notes, the two got into it early in the contest’s second quarter. It does seem that Dunn was the initial aggressor, at least. But both players legitimately swung at each other, which is generally a massive NBA no-no. ESPN’s SportsCenter has the full video rundown:

The two clubs are the 11th and 12th seeds in the Western Conference, but only the Rockets really seem to have a shot at making the postseason this year. Houston is 35-35 and just one game behind the No. 10-seeded Golden State Warriors (36-34). At 29-42, Utah trails Houston by 6.5 points. With just 11 contests remaining in the Jazz’s regular season, it seems that they are more or less out of the running, barring a massive slide from the Rockets. But Houston is in the midst of an eight-game win streak, and even though they’ll be without Smith for a game, the Rockets still seem well-equipped to continue their strong recent play once he returns.

Kris Dunn Jabari Smith Jr.
Jabari Smith Jr. #10 of the Houston Rockets and Kris Dunn #11 of the Utah Jazz are separated on the court in the first half at Toyota Center on March 23, 2024 in Houston, Texas.

Tim Warner/Getty Images

In that matchup, Smith finished with five points on 2-of-3 shooting from the field and 1-of-1 shooting from the charity stripe. He also chipped in two assists and two rebounds. Dunn scored just two points on 1-of-3 shooting from the field.

Smith is the bigger loss, albeit over just one game. Across his last seven completed contests during the Rockets’ ongoing eight-game win streak, Smith has been averaging 14.1 points on .462/.361/.933 shooting splits, 8.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks a night. Head coach Ime Udoka has been playing him more at center lately, with star big man Alperen Sengun sidelined indefinitely. Smith has helped spread the floor with faster-paced, five-out offenses.