Saturday, March 31, 2012
Stan Van Gundy: Punches thrown
By Tim MacMahon
Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy accused Dallas Mavericks center Brendan Haywood of punching Dwight Howard in the lower back during Friday night's game and plans to send video of the incident to the NBA office.
Howard played 44 minutes in the game, which the Mavericks won 100-98 after rallying from 15 points down, and finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds. The All-NBA center did not participate in Orlando's Saturday practice and was scheduled to see a back specialist later in the day, but the Magic expect Howard to be available for Sunday's game against the Denver Nuggets.
"It's really ridiculous and I want to get it on film and send it in [to the league office]," Van Gundy said Saturday, according to OrlandoMagic.com. "Haywood just punched him literally with a closed fist right in the back. So [Howard] got through the game because he was loose, but then it really tightened up.
"They are going to work on him and hopefully he'll be OK. But [Howard] didn't do anything today."
Haywood declined to comment when reached by ESPNDallas.com.
Haywood had missed the previous seven games because of a sprained right knee. Wearing a bulky brace on that knee, he played 26 minutes against the Magic, scoring five points and grabbing three rebounds before sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
Van Gundy did not specify when the alleged incident occurred.
"It happened on that one possession twice and it's a little frustrating," he said. "That one I'm going to send in because that one was out of hand. The guy's punching a guy in the back, meanwhile at the other end ... I'll just leave it at that."