Wade avoids ban for elbow; NBA assesses flagrant foul, penalty one

By Royce Young | NBA writer

UPDATED: 2:41 p.m. ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- Did Dwyane Wade intentionally hit Lance Stephenson with a flying elbow in the fourth quarter of Game 2? The NBA answered that with a definite maybe on Sunday, assessing no suspension and declaring the play a flagrant foul, penalty one.

Most of all, that means Wade is available to play in Game 3. Via Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, the league reviewed the play, but in the end Heat coach Erik Spoelstra's thoughts at the shootaround earlier proved to be true.

"We'll see what they find," Spoelstra said Sunday. "We think it was just a play that happens sometimes during a game. He was scrambling. That was during a very competitive time of the game. He was scrambling just to get play and it was just one of those inadvertent collisions."

Wade did not make himself available for comment at shootaround, denying an interview request.

Before the decision was out, Stephenson resisted calling the play dirty, instead saying it was "surprising" and that it "took him off guard." His teammates didn't seem to be so forgiving.

"It was an uncalled for play," said Paul George. "Whatever the league does about that situation, for what he did to Lance, it's well deserved whatever the punishment is."

The Pacers' hands weren't clean in this situation, though. David West caught Mario Chamlers with an elbow in the third quarter of Game 2, injuring Chalmers' left shoulder.

"I think it was a little bit of a shot, but hey," Chalmers said. The Heat's point guard had the shoulder wrapped heavily but said he's fine and will play.

Spoelstra was asked what he thought of West's elbow and if there was any comparison to Wade's play.

"We'll see what the league thinks," he said. "We have to put it in their hands at this point. It's a physical series. We don't think anything is really over the top. It's going to be decided between those four lines and that's where our focus has to be."

The series has been physical and chippy, but Pacers coach Frank Vogel said he's stressing to his team to avoid any desire to retaliate or extracurricular plays.

"I think extracurriculars can get you beat," he said. "If you get a technical foul for an extracurricular, that's a point. In this series, that's going to be a difference-maker. So we're not interested in anything after the whistle, anything during live play that could be costly. We're trying to play good, hard physical basketball and every point matters."

The Pacers and Heat are tied at 1.

 
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