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Farris expected to start

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Detroit Shock center Kara Braxton will be suspended for six games after pleading guilty to a drunk-driving charge during the offseason.

The league announced the suspension Friday, one day before the defending champions face the Los Angeles Sparks in the first game of the 2009 WNBA season. Braxton averaged 8.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in 33 games last season.

Braxton was suspended for two games in 2007 after a separate drunk-driving arrest. She was an All-Star that year. She also missed one game last year for her role in the Candace Parker-Plenette Pierson fight.

Barbara Farris is expected to replace Braxton in the starting lineup. She signed as a free agent May 28.