Kevin Love suspended for Scola face-stomp [VIDEO]

Scola spiked the ball off Love's balls days before he got stomped.
Scola spiked the ball off Love's balls days before he got stomped.

Just as the Timberwolves hit the .500 mark for the first time in over a half-decade, the team will have to play two games without its best player.

Kevin Love has been suspended two games without pay by the NBA for stepping on Luis Scola's chest and face during Saturday night's victory over the Rockets.

The play came days after Scola felled Love by spiking the ball off Love's, um, balls during a previous Wolves victory over Houston. (Video of both incidents below the jump.)

During the third quarter of the game, Love hacked Scola under the Rockets hoop. Unbelievably, no foul was called on the play, and Scola hit the ground. As Love turned to run up the floor, he stepped directly on Scola's chest and grazed Scola's face, then continued to run up the floor. Scola wasn't injured, and the Houston bench (led by head coach and Minnesota legend Kevin McHale) was assessed a technical foul for complaining about the no-call/face-stomp combo.

After the game, Love downplayed the incident, as did Scola. Love said:

I mean, he fell down after the play. He just kind of laid there and I've got size 19 feet so...I just happened to be there. I had nowhere to go. I got kind of tripped up and I just had nowhere to step. He was right there. It was a heat of the moment type play and he was right there and it happened to be his face, just like in Houston it happened to be my groin.

When Love refers to "it" happening to his groin, he's referring to the aforementioned play where Scola spiked the ball off his nuts. Here's that play:

And here's the play that resulted in Love being suspended two games losing out on about $84,000 in pay:

You smash my balls, I stomp on your face? Sounds fair, right? Unfortunately, the NBA didn't see it the same way -- the league upgraded the Love-on-Scola violence to a flagrant foul type 2 after reviewing tape of the play -- and as a result the T-Wolves will have a hard time maintaining the hard-fought.500 win percentage until Love returns for Friday night's home tilt against Dallas.

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