J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks sits on...

J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks sits on the bench late in a game against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The NBA hit J.R. Smith with another suspension after the volatile Knicks guard hit the Wizards' Glen Rice Jr. below the belt. Smith was suspended without pay from Wednesday night's game against the Pistons for striking the Wizards guard in the groin in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's 98-83 loss. Rice Jr. was called for a foul on the play.

Derek Fisher said "it came as a surprise," and he's not concerned about Smith's antics being a problem.

"Not an alarm as far as J.R.," Fisher said. "He's been great this year. We don't see this as something that's a sign to come.

"J.R. is not coloring outside of the lines compared to everyone else. He's been great to work with, a great teammate, he's worked hard. That's the only thing I can judge."

Phil Jackson has compared Smith's personality to that of Dennis Rodman, whose antics often overshadowed a Hall of Fame playing career. Smith was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year two seasons ago but has continued to get in trouble.

He was suspended the first five games last season for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy. Smith also was fined $50,000 for untying opponents' sneakers and $25,000 for directing a threatening tweet at Pistons guard Brandon Jennings.

In 2012, posting an inappropriate picture of a woman on his Twitter account cost Smith $25,000, and he was suspended for Game 4 of the Knicks-Celtics' 2013 playoff series for elbowing Jason Terry.

J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks is guarded by...

J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks is guarded by the Washington Wizards' Glen Rice Jr. during a game at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Some have speculated Smith's reputation led to Wednesday night's suspension, but NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn denied that.

Buzzer Beaters

Pablo Prigioni was limping badly and couldn't put weight on his right foot when he left the court after spraining it in the second quarter. Prigioni said, "it's not bad," but isn't sure whether he will be able to play Friday in Brooklyn . . . Fisher used his third different starting lineup in three games.

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