Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Heat's Udonis Haslem Suspended For Game 6
As expected, the NBA took action Wednesday off the flagrant fouls committed by the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat in the Heat's Game 5 victory Tuesday.
Heat center Dexter Pittman was suspended three games without pay for striking the neck and shoulders of Indiana guard Lance Stephenson late in the game, and Miami forward Udonis Haslem was suspended one game without pay for striking the head and shoulders of Indiana's Tyler Hansbrough.
Pittman and Haslem had their Flagrant Foul Ones upgraded to Flagrant Foul Twos, as did Hansbrough, who struck the head of Miami's Dwyane Wade on a foul that occurred shortly before Haslem's foul.
The suspensions come in the aftermath of a very physical Game 5 in which the Heat clobbered the Pacers 115-83 and took a 3-2 series lead.
Haslem's loss is the greatest, because the forward has been a defensive stalwart for the Heat and has even scored a bit to relieve the load on Wade and LeBron James. The foul coming shortly after Hansbrough, Haslem was thought by many to have made a retaliatory move for the Pacers attacking one of the Heat stars.
Stephenson drew Pittman's attention for earlier in the series giving a choke sign to James. Pittman, too, was standing up for a teammate.
Haslem will serve his suspension Thursday when the Pacers host the Heat in Game 6, and Pittman will start his then.