Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will not be suspended for Game 5 after hitting Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut in the face during Game 4.
According to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger, the NBA did not find the blow excessive as Howard was attempting to free himself from Bogut. Howard was given a flagrant-1 foul in-game.
“It was a very close call as far as I’m concerned,”president of basketball operations Rod Thorn told CBS Sports. “As Bogut is holding his arm down, Howard tries to extricate his arm. He doesn’t hit him with his elbow, by the way. He hits him with the back of his hand, maybe a touch of the wrist. To me, it was unnecessary, but I didn’t think it was excessive.”
As for what made this infraction different from Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford’s elbow from the night before, Thorn had this to say:
“What differentiated it as far as I’m concerned was Dwight’s contact was in part to extricate himself from the situation with Bogut,” Thorn said. “It was unnecessary and deserved a flagrant-1. Horford’s contact was in retaliation for what he felt Dellavedova had done to him, and to me fit the criteria for unnecessary and excessive.”