(Reuters) - Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade was handed a one-game suspension without pay on Thursday for kicking out at Charlotte's Ramon Sessions in a contest the previous evening.
The NBA issued the sanction after Wade flailed his leg and made contact with Sessions' groin area during the Heat's 105-92 victory over the Bobcats in Charlotte on Wednesday.
While it was unclear whether the action was intentional, Sessions confronted Wade directly after the play, the league took action and released an official statement.
Miami's All-Star guard will serve the penalty during Friday's game against the Detroit Pistons.
Wade is averaging 20.2 points per game for the defending NBA champion Heat (20-6), who currently lead the Eastern Conference.
In another disciplinary case, Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard was fined $35,000 but avoided suspension for his flagrant foul ejection against the Nuggets on Wednesday.
Howard committed a hard foul to the head of Nuggets big man Kenneth Faried and was promptly ejected in the third quarter of his team's 126-114 loss in Denver.
Howard, who was traded to the Lakers in a blockbuster off-season deal, is averaging 17.5 points and 11.8 rebounds in his first season with the team.
The revamped Lakers have yet to find consistency and are 14-15 on the year.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)