NEW YORK – Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard was fined $35,000 by the NBA on Thursday for a flagrant foul against Denver's Kenneth Faried.
Howard was ejected with 5:02 left in the third quarter in the Lakers' 126-114 loss to the Nuggets on Wednesday night. He was called for a flagrant foul 2 when he jammed his hand in Faried's face as the Denver forward drove the lane. Faried tumbled to the floor, but shook off the fall to stay in the game.
After the game, Howard acknowledged it was a hard foul and that it looked bad when seeing it on replay, but he didn't think it merited ejection.
"I was surprised it was a flagrant 2," he said. "My intention was never to hurt Faried. I like the young fellow and my intention was just to foul. I come down the lane, somebody is going to foul me hard, put me on the free throw line and make me shoot free throws. It was the same kind of thing."
Faried said he thought Howard might have been frustrated and also sensed his determined drive to the basket.
"He saw my eyes. I wasn't going to back down. I wasn't going to try to float it," Faried said. "I was going to try to dunk on him. He saw it. That's why he put his hand directly in my face."