It wouldn’t be a true playoff preview without a little post-game politicking for more favorable treatment from the officials. The physical, high-intensity nature of Indiana’s 84-83 victory over Miami on Wednesday was about as good as March basketball gets in the NBA, but the Heat weren’t pleased with how the referees managed the action. All told, three technical fouls and one flagrant foul were assessed. Lance Stephenson received two technical fouls for separate exchanges with Dwyane Wade, who in turn drew an offsetting technical during the first exchange. LeBron James drew the only flagrant foul of the game for elbowing Roy Hibbert on a drive to the hoop. That flagrant foul came shortly after James himself absorbed hard fouls from Ian Mahinmi and Luis Scola in quick succession, both of which were deemed personal fouls rather than flagrant fouls. “I don’t want to fall into the pit of what’s going on,” James said afterwards, according to the Indianapolis Star. “Me and Blake Griffin, we take some hard hits. They call it the way they wanna call it. It’s very frustrating though, very frustrating.” Late in the third quarter, Mahinmi wrapped his arms around James’ neck as the back-to-back MVP drove down the middle of the paint, but the Pacers big man appeared to loosen his grasp after the initial contact, and James fell to the court. Then, early in the fourth quarter, James split the defense and attacked the hoop from the left wing, only to take a hard foul across the face from Scola. Heat forward Chris Bosh took exception to both plays on behalf of his All-Star teammate.
Heat’s LeBron James, Chris Bosh frustrated with officials after loss to Pacers
SI | Mar 27