NBA Executive Vice President for Basketball Operations Stu Jackson announced the penalty shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Both players will miss Game 4 of the hotly-contested matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic.
The mele broke loose with 2:22 left in the game after Pachulia hacked former Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy star Dwight Howard in the lane. Howard retaliated with an elbow to the Atlanta big man's throat. Pachulia took exception and started lobbying for a technical foul.
Richardson then got into it with Pachulia in the key. The two continued their discussion under the Magic basket before Zaza unleashed a trio of headbutts to Richardson's noggin. Richardson retaliated with one of those open-handed slaps to the face that you'd see if you were out in a bar and said some sort of inappropriate thing to the wrong woman.
The Hawks ended up ahead in the deal in more ways than one.
Richardson starts for the Magic and is a prolific late-game 3-point threat. While Pachulia may bring a relentless intensity to the court, his numbers are nowhere comparable to J. Rich's.
The Hawks will simply go to Etan Thomas or another big man to pester, annoy and hack Howard, who has lead Orlando in scoring in each of the first three games of the series.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven first round set tips off at 7:00 p.m. on Easter Sunday at the Highlight Factory. Atlanta leads the series 2-1.