Kevin Garnett's head butt will cost him playing time.

The NBA announced yesterday it has suspended Garnett one game without pay for instigating an altercation with Dwight Howard during the Nets' 113-99 loss to the Rockets on Monday night. Garnett will serve his suspension tonight, sitting out as the Nets host the Grizzlies.

Howard was fined $15,000 for his role in the incident.

After a foul was called with 7:53 left in the first quarter of Monday's game, a testy battle in the post led to Garnett hitting Howard with the ball and following up with a head butt.

Howard retaliated by hitting Garnett openhanded in the neck area. After an ensuing fracas was broken up and officials reviewed the play, both players received technical fouls and Garnett was ejected.

In his 20th NBA season, the 38-year-old Garnett has appeared in 31 games and is averaging 7.2 points and 7.3 rebounds in 21.4 minutes.