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Sloan Suspends Starks 2 Games

Starting shooting guard John Starks was suspended for two games Thursday by Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan for disciplinary reasons.

Sloan declined to elaborate, saying the suspension was "just team policy."

Sloan sent Starks home from Los Angeles and he won't play Friday at Denver or Saturday at Houston.

The Deseret News reported that Starks failed to board the team bus for a ride back to the hotel after an 82-71 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night.

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Starks left the Staples Center with acquaintances and apparently didn't inform anyone with the team of his plans. Starks scored 5 points, shooting 2-for-9 in 30 minutes, as Utah lost its fourth straight.

Starks also was suspended after an overtime loss to Portland Dec. 28 for an undisclosed violation of team rules. The reason in that instance was believed to be tardiness for practices and team meetings.

Sloan said Thursday he felt it necessary to suspend the veteran Starks, who signed as a free agent during the offseason to replace the retired Jeff Hornacek.

"As long as I've been here, we've always enforced team policy," Sloan said. "It gets to the point where I think you have to have some semblance of order."

Starks wasn't available for comment.

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