For the third time this season, DeMarcus Cousins will sit out a game due to suspension.

The NBA today decided to discipline the Sacramento Kings big man for hitting guard O.J. Mayo in the groin region during Monday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. Cousins is being suspended without pay and will miss tonight’s road contest against the Milwaukee Bucks.

At this time, no further disciplinary action or comment is expected to come from the Kings on the matter.

The incident happened late in the second quarter while the Kings were trailing the Mavs 31-58.  The two players were battling for position just outside of the paint during a Kings’ offensive possession.   A replay of the strike can be seen in the video below.

Following the game, Mayo offered some harsh criticism for Cousins to the Dallas Morning News:

“Man, that guy has mental issues,” Mayo said. “He’s a talented player. He has an opportunity to be the face of the organization, but I don’t think he wants it.”

Mayo said he asked the referees to review the incident on videotape during halftime. Mayo said he has little doubt it’s a fine-able or suspendable offense.

“Big maturity problem,” Mayo said of Cousins. “Hopefully he’ll grow out of it and become great. He definitely has the talent.”

Cousins maintains the hit below the belt was not intentional.  Earlier today, he took to Twitter to plead his case.

Speaking to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, he also responded to Mayo’s comments with criticism of his own toward the fifth-year shooting guard.

“I heard,” Cousins said. “This coming from a guy that doesn’t have a great image himself. So what does his really mean? I’m fine with it.”

Mayo had problems with the NCAA in his one season at USC. After leaving for the NBA, the school would determine Mayo was ineligible his lone season for receiving improper benefits.

During the game, the Kings big man also exchanged words with Rick Carlisle. Cousins contends that the Mavs head coach took offense to his behavior when the Kings made a run to cut Dallas’ lead after halftime.

“We made a run (in the third quarter),” Cousins said. “I started clapping and the man said “eff off. I said eff you and was it. And I still got scrutinized like I did something wrong.”

The 22-year-old center has already missed two games this year to suspension. Last month, the league disciplined him for confronting a TV analyst Sean Elliott in a hostile manner following the Kings’ 97-86 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.