The Miami Heat will be without two of their normal players when they take on the Pacers in game six of their Eastern Conference playoff series on Thursday after Udonis Haslem and Dexter Pittman were both banned for flagrant fouls.
The Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough was also assessed a flagrant foul during the game, he was not suspended but the foul was upgraded to a flagrant two from the flagrant one that was called on the floor.
Haslem will just miss game five for his actions, while Pittman's were determined to be more egregious and he was banned for three games. The NBA determined that Haslem's foul as well as Pittman's were retaliatory so their punishment was more severe.
Hansbrough fouled Dwayne Wade on a layup in the second quarter. He caught Wade around the head with both arms before shoving him to the floor. Wade stayed down for a few seconds but was back up and in the game quickly.
Haslem took a shot at Hansbrough a few minutes later in retaliation. The former Tar-Heel was hanging in the air on a jump shot when Haslem shoved him hard in the chest and face.
Hansbrough popped right up off the floor after the foul and appeared to be looking for Haslem before he was corralled by some of his teammates.
The final foul was the worst. With less than 20 seconds to play, and the game already decided, Pittman threw a forearm at the neck of Lance Stephenson. Pittman was caught after the foul winking at the Heat bench by TNT cameras.
Stephenson made headlines a few days earlier when he mimed a choke sign at LeBron James after the reigning NBA MVP missed a pair of free throws in game three. The shot from Pittman appeared to be in retaliation for the choke sign and the NBA came down hard.