HOUSTON — Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will not be suspended for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals after the NBA announced Tuesday it would not reclassify his foul of the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut to a flagrant foul 2.
“Howard was trying to extricate himself from Bogut and recklessly hit him in the face with an open hand,” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said in a statement. “The contact was unnecessary but was not deemed excessive by the officials working the game with the aid of the replay center. And we don’t see a reason to modify that call.”
Howard was assessed a flagrant foul 1 after his left arm struck Bogut in the head in Game 4 on Monday. Upgrading the foul upon a league review could have led to a fine and/or suspension.
Asked if he wanted Howard suspended, Warriors coach Steve Kerr laughed and said, “I’m not answering that.”
Rockets coach Kevin McHale indicated that he felt Bogut fouled Howard first, and that didn’t get called.
“Bogut grabbed him, and as always, the second foul gets called,” McHale said.
“He swiped his arm back because he felt Bogut grabbed him…The one thing we learn is we should be the first to grab.”