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NBA: Kings suspend top scorer Cousins indefinitely

Sacramento Kings' DeMarcus Cousins (L) and Toronto Raptors' Amir Johnson (R) tangle over the ball during the second half of their NBA basket
Sacramento Kings' DeMarcus Cousins (L) and Toronto Raptors' Amir Johnson (R) tangle over the ball during the second half of their NBA basket

(Reuters) - The Sacramento Kings have suspended leading scorer and rebounder DeMarcus Cousins indefinitely for "unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team", the Kings said on Saturday.

The suspension, his third this season, came after Cousins exchanged words with Kings coach Keith Smart during halftime of Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The center did not play in the second half after being left in the locker by Smart.

Cousins, who is averaging 16.6 points and 9.5 rebounds, lashed out at Smart after the coach said something to him, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Cousins later apologized for his actions.

"I shouldn't have responded back," he told reporters. "Should have accepted what was said and stayed quiet."

Cousins twice has been suspended by the National Basketball Association this year.

He was suspended for two games in November for confronting a San Antonio Spurs announcer and was benched one game by the league earlier this month after striking the Dallas Mavericks' O.J. Mayo in the groin.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; editing by Stephen Wood)

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