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NBA upholds flagrant foul call on Houston Rockets’ Dwight Howard before Game 5

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.”

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Essential Warriors-Rockets Game 4 information for Monday

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With the Warriors bandwagon getting more crowded every day, here’s the very least any fan needs to know to keep up:

Game 4 of the Warriors vs. Rockets Western Conference Finals is Monday at 6 p.m. PT in Houston. The Warriors hold a 3-0 series advantage in the best-of-7 series and the game is televised on ESPN. A Warriors victory Monday would send Golden State to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1975.

If you’re looking to enjoy the game alongside a lot of Warriors fans in the Bay Area, here are where the Warriors’ official watch parties are being held:

Tribune Tavern (401 13th Street, Oakland)

SoMa StrEat Food Park (428 11th Street, San Francisco)

Pedro’s Cantina (128 King Street, San Francisco)

Era (19 Grand Avenue, Oakland)

Sauced BBQ & Spirits (2300 First Street, Livermore)

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Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams, Rockets star James Harden are close friends now trying to figure each other out

HOUSTON – To James Harden, Ron Adams is more than merely a Warriors assistant coach trying to figure out a way on defense to stop the Rockets star.

“That’s one of my closest friends,” Harden said of Adams on Saturday. “He was one of my mentors when I got in the league. Just to compete against him, I know he has something up his sleeve over there as far as trying to defend me.”

Adams, 67, served as an assistant for Oklahoma City when he saw the Thunder rookie Harden as a future standout. These days, Harden has had scoring performances of 28 and 38 points in Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Warriors.

“It’s a little bit irritating to me,” Adams said. “That’s how I think. I don’t want anyone scoring on us.

“I like James a lot up until that clock starts ticking and the game starts.”

After the previous game at the Toyota Center in January when the Warriors held Harden to 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting, he walked side by side with Adams while chatting on their way out of the arena. The two also spent time catching when the two teams met for a preseason game in Hidalgo, Texas.

Adams said he would like to think that his knowledge of Harden’s game would be a big factor in containing it.

“Defensively, he’s one of the best that we have in this league,” said Harden, who learned more man-to-man defense from Adams after playing zone for Arizona State.

“He’s a really smart guy over there.”

Recalled Adams: “James was a precocious guy, and we connected. I’m a left-hander. He’s a left-hander.”

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Where to watch tonight’s Warriors-Rockets Game 2?

Now that everyone seems to be on the Warriors bandwagon, here’s the very least any fan needs to know to keep up:

Game 2 of the Warriors vs. Rockets Western Conference Finals is tonight (Thursday) at 6 p.m. PT. The game is televised on ESPN.

If you don’t have a ticket to the game at Oracle Arena, here are some of the best places to enjoy the game with fellow Warriors fanatics:

Tribune Tavern (401 13th Street, Oakland)

SoMa StrEat Food Park (428 11th Street, San Francisco)

Pete’s Tavern & Pedro’s Cantina (128 King Street, San Francisco)

Era (19 Grand Avenue, Oakland)