HOUSTON – The NBA will review the flagrant foul Rockets center Dwight Howard committed in elbowing Warriors center Andrew Bogut in the head in the third quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals Monday night.
Game officials, with Joe Crawford as the lead, reviewed the play and deemed it a Flagrant 1, resulting in Bogut being awarded two free throws and the Warriors getting the ball.
A Flagrant 2, which could have been assessed insofar as the contact occurred above the shoulders and might have been considered excessive, would have meant automatic ejection and possible suspension.
The league, upon review, could upgrade the foul to a Flagrant 2, which could mean Howard might have to sit out Game 5 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena – though Bogut, rightfully so, expects no severe such action by the league.
“I doubt that’s going to happen,” Bogut said when informed that an upgrade could result in suspension.
Make no mistake, though, Bogut believes he was victimized by a non-basketball play that was no less malicious than the elbow thrown by Hawks center Al Horford that connected with Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday. Horford was assessed with a Flagrant II and ejected.
As the Warriors headed upcourt after a Harrison Barnes steal, Bogut and Howard got tangled underneath the basket. When Bogut grabbed Howard’s left arm from behind, the Rockets center raised it and swung it at Bogut’s face.
The play was immediately whistled, with Bogut shooting two free throws. He missed both.
Now the league will decide if further action is necessary.
“It’s not up to me; it’s up to the league,” Bogut said. “I’m sure they have video and they can watch it and make an assumption on their own accord. But it is what it is. It’s nothing I didn’t expect.”