NBA fines Heat's Mario Chalmers for forearm to neck of Clippers' Blake Griffin
With a little more than eight minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Clippers leading 63-61, Chalmers was attempting to rotate back defensively toward 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 by the game officials. The league office upgraded the foul to a Flagrant Foul 2.
The Point Forward noted Thursday night there was little question that a flagrant foul for unnecessary and excessive contact was warranted and encouraged the league office to take a look at the play, because Chalmers was not making a basketball play, and he delivered his blow with sufficient force to a sensitive area.
Chalmers was allowed to remain in the game and he finished with six points (on 2-of-5 shooting) and six assists in 23 minutes. 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.
Chalmers, 27, will earn $4 million during the 2013-14 season. Video via YouTube user sky2847