By Ben Golliver
Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea was assessed a flagrant foul 2 and ejected after using his chest to bump Ray Allen during a 97-81 loss to the Heat on Monday night.
With a little more than eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Heat leading 76-70, Barea defended Allen on the ball just outside the three-point line. After flopping back when Allen used his left arm to clear him off of the ball, Barea recovered to meet Allen on a drive, bumping Allen directly with his chest as he attacked the basket, knocking the Heat guard to the floor. The foul sparked a brief exchange of words between members of the two teams, as Allen's Heat teammates came to his defense.
The referees reviewed the foul and deemed it worth of the flagrant 2, a designation that applies for fouls that are deemed both “unnecessary and excessive” and requires an automatic ejection. Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman was incensed by the decision. Barea departed with four points (on one-for-11 shooting), four rebounds and four assists in 22 minutes.
Like all flagrant fouls, Barea’s will be reviewed by the NBA league office, which has the authority to tack on an additional suspension or fine (or reduce the foul from a flagrant 2 to a flagrant 1). Barea has also been warned and fined for violating the NBA's anti-flopping policy this season.
CBSSports.com reported Barea's reaction to the flagrant foul 2 ruling, which he deemed unwarranted.
Said Barea: "He hit me with an elbow almost close to my neck. That's part of the game, and then I just gave him a bump back. I've been playing in the NBA for seven years. I've been hit. I get hit harder than that every night. I don't get up crying, wanting to fight. [Andrew] Bynum almost knocked me out for the rest of my life. I didn't get up crying. You know? It's a little bump, so it's part of the game. Don't be like that. That's why the refs got all upset about it, but it's just a little bump.
"That was terrible," he said. "I get hit harder than that every night in the NBA."
Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 32 points (on 15-for-23 shooting), 10 assists and seven rebounds in 38 minutes. Derrick Williams led the Timberwolves with 25 points (on 10-for-22 shooting) and 10 rebounds in 45 minutes. Miami improved to 44-14 with its franchise-record 15th straight win; Minnesota fell to 20-37 with its sixth straight loss.
Video via Telly user CJ Fogler | Hat tip: @CJZero