Pacers` Stephenson, Hibbert fined for flopping
New York: Indiana guard Lance Stephenson was fined $10,000 and center Roy Hibbert docked $5,000 by the NBA on Thursday for flopping in the Pacers` 93-90 playoff win over Miami the night before.
Stephenson`s fine was double because it was his second violation of this post-season. His latest flop -- falling over or to the court after minimal contact from an opposing player -- came with 8:23 left in the fourth quarter of Wednesday`s game.
As the Pacers brought the ball down court, Stephenson was brushed by Miami`s LeBron James and crashed backward to the floor as if he`d taken a hard shove.
Hibbert`s dramatics came with 5:18 remaining. Miami`s Mario Chalmers was going for a rebound when he bumped Hibbert and the Indiana big man made a sprawling dive to the floor.
While Stephenson`s flop drew the attention of the league, the brash Indiana player was under scrutiny too for his continued baiting of four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James and the rest of the Heat.
Trying to annoy the Miami superstar, he blew into James ear, and he earned a scowl from Heat coach Erik Spoelstra as he tried to cosy up to a Miami sideline conference.
"I`m just here to play basketball, man," was James`s comment after a game in which he was hindered by foul trouble and scored just seven points. "All the extracurricular activities, I don`t really get into."
With Wednesday`s win the Pacers narrowed the gap in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series to 3-2, but Miami will have another chance to close it out and reach their fourth straight championship series when they host game six on Friday.