Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will be available for Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals after his blow to Andrew Bogut wasn’t upgraded to a flagrant 2.
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The NBA chose to review the incident which took place in Game 4 on Monday night, when Howard seemingly made contact with Bogut’s face as the pair got tangled up.
While the Rockets star was called for a flagrant 1 foul at the time, he would have been given an automatic suspension had it been upgraded on review as he has already received a flagrant foul in the playoffs.
However, fortunately for Howard and his teammates he will be available for selection on Wednesday as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive by winning Game 5 and cutting their rival’s lead to 3-2.
The NBA revealed that they deemed Howard’s blow to Bogut as unnecessary but not unnecessary and excessive, two components needed in order to judge a foul as a flagrant 2 level foul.
NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn explained that the Rockets center was trying to free himself and it wasn’t his elbow that made contact but his Warriors rival but it was the back of his hand which immediately reduced the seriousness of the incident.
Howard is also on the verge of a suspension due to an accumulation of technical fouls, and so he is one more technical or flagrant foul away from being suspended which may likely carry over to next season given that it will take something dramatic for the Rockets to fight back and win on the road on Wednesday to keep their hopes alive for a little longer.