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NBA suspends Dwight Howard one game after hard foul is ruled flagrant

NBA suspends Dwight Howard one game after hard foul is ruled flagrant
Rockets centerDwight Howard reacts after getting called for a foul in the second half of Game 5 against the Warriors on May 27. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard was suspended without pay for one game Friday after getting his fourth flagrant foul point in the postseason.

Howard will serve the suspension in the first game next season that he is physically able to play.

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The foul in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals was ruled a common foul during the game, but was upgraded to a flagrant foul 1 after a review about the league office. It came when he made what the NBA called unnecessary contact with his forearm to the neck area of Golden State's Andre Iguodala.

"That means I have to play 81 games hard, not 82," Howard said. "I can't do nothing about it now."

The Warriors eliminated the Rockets in five games.

"Playoffs are over with for us," Howard said. "We had a great run so despite whatever happened one game it's not going to take away what we did this year in the playoffs."

The Rockets were the second seed in the Western Conference and advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 1997.

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