The NBA has fined Pacers guard Lance Stephenson $5,000 for flopping on Heat forward LeBron James during Miami's 87-83 road victory over Indiana in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.
Stephenson becomes the first player fined for violating the league's anti-flop program during the 2014 playoffs. The program removes the free warning given to players during the regular season and assesses a fine on the first flopping offense.
With a little under four minutes remaining in the third quarter and Indiana leading 57-54, Heat forward LeBron James pushed the ball up the court to initiate a possession. As he approached the three-point line, James attempted to pull up and Stephenson came running into him from behind. James used his right arm to brush off Stephenson, who tossed his arm in the air and flailed his head backwards as he fell to the floor.
The collision drew a whistle, and after checking to see whether he had drawn the charge, Stephenson rolled over and lay on his side once he realized he had been called for the foul. He remained motionless, as if sleeping, for a number of seconds before Paul George picked him up off the court.
Stephenson was warned twice for flopping during the regular season, incurring a $5,000 fine for his second violation. He was also fined for flopping during the 2013 playoffs.
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Stephenson will now be subject to the postseason fine scale for flopping.
Violation 1: $5,000 fine
Violation 2: $10,000 fine
Violation 3: $15,000 fine
Violation 4: $30,000 fine
If a player violates the anti-flopping rule five times or more, he will be subject to discipline that is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.
Tuesday was a busy night for Stephenson, who finished with a game-high 25 points (on 10-of-17 shooting), seven assists and six rebounds in a losing effort. His consistent energy and scoring weren't enough to prevent the Heat from evening the series at one game apiece.
Game 3 is set for Miami on Saturday night.
Video via YouTube user cjzerovids