Heat guard Mario Chalmers delivered a forearm to the neck of Clippers forward Blake Griffin during the third quarter of Miami's 102-97 home victory on Thursday.
With a little more than eight minutes remaining in the third and the Clippers leading 63-61, Chalmers was attempting to rotate back defensively towards Chris Paul on the perimeter. Griffin was waiting to set a screen near the three-point line; rather than fighting over the top of Griffin or going underneath him, Chalmers elected to go straight through the All-Star forward, raising his right arm into Griffin's neck area as he did so. Griffin's head snapped back and he immediately clutched at his throat as he doubled over in pain.
Chalmers was assessed only a personal foul for the blow and he was allowed to remain in the game. He finished with six points (on 2-of-5 shooting) and six assists in 23 minutes.
There seems little question that a flagrant foul 1 for unnecessary and excessive contact was warranted here: Chalmers wound up, he was not making a basketball play, and he delivered his blow with sufficient force to a sensitive area. Hopefully the league office takes another look at this one. Griffin has surely guilty of perpetrating more than his fair share of flops but he deserves to be protected from blows like this.
Griffin was able to remain in the game despite the foul and he exacted a measure of revenge with a strong dunk over Chris Bosh during the fourth quarter. He finished with a team-high 27 points (on 11-of-15 shooting) and 14 rebounds in a losing effort.
Dwyane Wade led the Heat with a game-high 29 points (on 13-of-22 shooting), seven assists and four rebounds.
Miami improved to 4-2 with the win; L.A. dropped to 3-3 with the loss.
Video via YouTube user sky2847