Suspensions for Bynum, Villanueva reduced to four games

NEW YORK — The NBA announced Friday it was reducing suspensions for Lakers center Andrew Bynum and Pistons power forward Charlie Villanueva by one game.

Both players were facing five-game, season-opening bans for incidents that occurred last season, but the league opted to lessen the bans "due to the shortened 2011-12 season."

Bynum was hit with a five-game suspension for committing a flagrant foul on then-Mavericks guard J.J. Barea in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

The Lakers 7-footer was ejected in the fourth quarter of the series-clinching 122-86 win by Dallas after he threw his forearm into Barea's chest as the six-foot-tall guard was airborne on a drive to the basket. Barea landed hard on his left side but was not seriously hurt on the play.

Bynum, who apologized after seeing replays of the incident, will be eligible to take the court for the Lakers on Dec. 31 when they host the Nuggets.

Villanueva was suspended following an on-court altercation with Cavaliers center Ryan Hollins in the second-to-last game of the regular season. The Pistons' forward escalated the incident by following Hollins into the Cavs' locker room where he had to be physically restrained.

Villanueva served one game of the suspension during Detroit's regular season finale last April, meaning he will be eligible to play after the Pistons' first three games of the 2011-12 season.


The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived veteran guard Bonzi Wells.

Wells has not appeared in an NBA game since 2008. He spent the past two years playing in China and Puerto Rico and came to Wolves camp hoping to revive his career. Wells had a history with Wolves coach Rick Adelman, and Adelman brought him in to give his younger players some guidance during training camp.

Wells played in both preseason games for the Wolves. He averaged 1.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game in the exhibitions. With the maximum 15 players already under contract, Wells was always a long shot to make the team. The Wolves made the move on Friday, one day before teams are required to get down to the 15-player limit.

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