Davis, Harden penalized for Game 2 incidents

  • Lakers and NBA reporter for ESPN.
  • Covered the Lakers and NBA for ESPNLosAngeles.com from 2009-14, the Cavaliers from 2014-18 for ESPN.com and the NBA for NBA.com from 2005-09.

  • Joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009
  • Covers the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis has been assessed a flagrant foul 1 for striking the groin area of Houston Rockets forward Jeff Green in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals, the NBA announced Tuesday.

Davis drove on Green late in the first half of Sunday’s 117-109 win by the Lakers, making contact between Green’s legs with his right arm.

Green immediately recoiled in pain, rendering himself useless as a defender as Davis finished the play with a layup to put L.A. up 67-51 with 15.3 seconds left in the second quarter.

It was the third time during this postseason that a Rockets player was hit below the belt.

Sources told ESPN that the Rockets were upset that Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul’s jab to Ben McLemore’s groin area in overtime of Game 3 of their first round series — a play extremely similar to Davis’ drive — was not reviewed by the league office. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni received a technical foul for angrily arguing that the referees should have reviewed the play to determine if it was a flagrant foul, and sources said the Rockets believed a suspension should have been considered for Paul due to his history of similar incidents.

Dennis Schroder was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his shot to P.J. Tucker’s groin area while fighting over a screen in Game 5 of the Houston-Oklahoma City series. Schroder was called for a flagrant foul 2 and ejected. Tucker was also ejected for head-butting Schroder and also fined $25,000.

“It would be greatly appreciated if opposing players would stop punching our players in the balls during the game,” Rockets CEO Tad Brown tweeted after Davis’ shot on Green. “Seems to be a thing lately, not sure why.”

“No accountability,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted a minute later in reply to a tweet from a Houston Chronicle reporter on the subject.

Davis’ infraction comes with one flagrant foul point. Once a player accumulates four flagrant foul points in the postseason, they earn an automatic one-game suspension.

The NBA also announced that Rockets guard James Harden has been assessed a technical foul after the fact for hitting Davis in the face with his left arm in the first quarter of Game 2.

Harden was fouled by Rajon Rondo on a drive with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter and made inadvertent contact with Davis as he careened off the court following the whistle.

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