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Thursday, May 30, 2013
LeBron, two Pacers fined for flopping

By Brian Windhorst
ESPN.com

MIAMI -- The NBA handed down a flurry of discipline for flopping and flagrant fouls from Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, including a $5,000 fine to LeBron James.

Both James and David West were fined $5,000 for flopping on the same play from the fourth quarter of the Indiana Pacers' win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday. West was fighting for position on the play, and both recoiled when there was contact in the lane.

"We accept it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday morning. "We don't want the attention and the focus to be on the officiating. We want it to be on the competition, which is a great series. Our focus is taking business at home (in Game 5)."

Earlier this week, James said there was a strategic advantage to flopping.

"Some guys have been doing it for years, just trying to get an advantage," James said Monday. "Any way you can get an advantage over the opponent to help your team win, so be it."

It furthered a tough night for James, who was called for six fouls plus a technical. The league also handed down a $5,000 fine for flopping to the Pacers' Lance Stephenson for exaggerating contact against Ray Allen in the first quarter of Game 4.

"It is what it is," James said about the fine.

West talked about the play that led to his and LeBron's fines for flopping.

"I was trying to post up and he was trying to draw a foul," West said. "It was a high contact play and the refs let the play go on. Maybe it was some gamesmanship."

Heat forward Shane Battier, who has garnered the reputation as one of the NBA's biggest floppers, is unsure if the league has done an effective job controlling it.

"I don't know how well it's being policed," Battier said after Thursday's shootaround. "I think guys thought about it a lot, but whether it made a difference ultimately? I don't know."

Battier has been adamant from the beginning that flopping should be penalized, but it should be called on both ends of the floor -- not just charges.

"I think guys offensively still flop," Battier said. "I don't think offensively flopping is called as much it could have been, I guess. The emphasis is on defensive flopping and I think that was called more, but offensive flopping is bad too. If you have to call one, you have to call the other."

In addition, a West foul in the fourth quarter on Dwyane Wade has been upgraded to a flagrant-1 foul. It marked the third time in the series the NBA has upgraded a foul to a flagrant after a game.  The Pacers' 99-92 victory Tuesday, which tied the series, was filled with such plays and marked by a combined 55 personal fouls.

"I thought it was just a good foul. I was trying to make a play on the ball," West said. "It's not going to change the way I play, at all."

Information from ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh and The Associated Press was used in this report.