Monday, May 2, 2011
NBA changes fouls from Heat-Celtics
By Brian Windhorst ESPN.com
MIAMI -- After reviewing game film on Monday, the NBA changed the ruling on two high-profile physical plays that Heat forward James Jones was involved in during the second half of Miami's 99-90 Game 1 victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
The NBA changed a Jermaine O'Neal foul on Jones in the third quarter from a flagrant foul to a standard personal foul.
As a result of O'Neal's flagrant, Jones made two free throws and the Heat got an extra possession, during which Mike Bibby made a 3-pointer. At the time, the Heat were not in the bonus. If it had been called a personal foul at the time, Miami only would have received the ball on an out-of-bounds play.
The league also removed a technical foul on Jones that was called during the fourth quarter, while upgrading his personal foul on Paul Pierce on the play to a flagrant foul. Jones made contact with Pierce's head on the play after he was caught in the air on a pump-fake. An upset Pierce went face-to-face with Jones, their foreheads hitting each other.
Pierce made the two free throws that came with the shooting foul, but did not receive the extra possession.
A minute later, Pierce was ejected when he got a second technical for taunting Dwyane Wade.
The two foul changes were part of several plays reviewed by the league.
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers requested that Wade's foul on Pierce that triggered the ejection be upgraded to a flagrant, but was denied. There is a point system for flagrant fouls that could lead to a suspension in the playoffs if a player gets too many.
Pierce was not suspended for head-butting Jones in their altercation.
LeBron James also avoided suspension for leaving the bench in the second quarter to get teammate Mario Chalmers after a dust-up with Boston guard Delonte West. James was not in the game at the time and he came down to the Celtics' bench area to pull Chalmers away from West after West threw the ball at Chalmers. West was given a technical.
Players who leave the bench can be suspended, but there was a time out at the time of James' actions.
Brian Windhorst covers the Miami Heat for ESPN.com.