Houston Rockets guard James Harden appeared to kick Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James in the groin during the third quarter of Houston's 105-103 win in overtime.
The kick came after James tried grabbing the ball from Harden as Harden was falling backward. Once on the ground, Harden's left foot appeared to kick James.
After the game, Cavaliers players were upset Harden wasn't ejected for the kick.
James Jones on the Harden flagrant: "It was an intentional groin kick ... It was an intentional kick to a troublesome area"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 2, 2015
Harden said his kick was not intentional.
James Harden, wearing black hat, called his kick "just a reaction.". Says "they called a flagrant and we moved on." Doesn't fear discipline.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) March 2, 2015
[daily_cut.NBA] James was also involved in an earlier incident with Rockets guard Patrick Beverley in the third quarter. After Beverley tried to take a charge on James as he was driving to the hoop, James landed on top of Beverely before the two shoved each other.
James finished with a game-high 37 points, in addition to eight rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Cavaliers (37-24). He did miss two key free throws in overtime to seal the win for Houston. Harden led the Rockets (41-18) with 33 points, adding eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Beverley scored 12 points with five rebounds and five assists.
- Mike Fiammetta