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NBA downgrades Barea flagrant foul against Heat

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- J.J. Barea's confrontation with Ray Allen got him ejected from Minnesota's game against Miami on Monday night. One day later, the NBA ruled that Barea never should have been ejected.

Barea was encouraged by the correction, but it came a little too late for Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman. The NBA downgraded a Flagrant-2 foul on Barea to a Flagrant-1 foul on Tuesday, meaning Barea will not face a fine or suspension for his foul on Allen.

"The NBA did a good job looking at it," Barea said after practice Tuesday. "It wasn't that bad. It's all right."

Barea knocked Allen to the court with a chest bump and Allen immediately took exception and confronted Barea. Officials initially ruled it a Flagrant-1, which gives the opponent two shots and the ball. Upon reviewing the play, referee Ed Malloy changed it to a Flagrant-2, which brings an automatic ejection. The Wolves were down six at the time, but Miami responded with a 17-5 run to put the game away.

Adelman picked up a rare technical foul while arguing that call and a few others after it. Even after watching replays of the play, Adelman was still baffled by Malloy's decision to eject Barea.

"I'm just wondering what is the criteria here? What are you guys looking at over there?" Adelman said of the review process. "We can't go near it, so I don't know what they're looking at. They obviously made a judgment and it's unfortunate."

Barea was 1 for 11 in the game and he did find a little levity in the situation.

"The way I was shooting it last night, I was like get me out of here," he said with a chuckle. "They did me a favor."

It's been a season full of hard luck for the Wolves (20-37), who have fewer wins than any team in the Western Conference. They've been beset by injuries all season long, and it continued on Tuesday when they announced that starting center Nikola Pekovic (abdominal strain) and forward Andrei Kirilenko (strained left calf) will miss at least the next three games with nagging injuries. That means the Wolves will have nine healthy players for games against the Wizards, Nuggets and Mavericks.

"I don't think we have any rhythm to our game, probably because of the injuries," Adelman said. "We're playing different people, trying to run different things. ... We're trying to find ways to be competitive each game."

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