HOUSTON -- Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard was fined $15,000 for making contact above the shoulders with Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes, the league announced Monday.
Howard was headed to the basket when his left arm connected with Barnes' head area at the 9:21 mark of the first quarter.
"It means attaboy for Matt for turning the other cheek, literally," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Monday when asked about the contact. "Really. To me that's a sign of toughness from Matt. I tell our guys all the time, anyone can hit. The tougher guys are the ones who take the hit and keep moving forward.
"I thought Matt did a good job of that, because it was a nice blow. But instead of getting sidetracked and us losing our composure, we just kept playing. I think that's been very important for us."
Howard has become the third Rockets player fined for some infraction this postseason. Corey Brewer (violating anti-flopping rules) and Jason Terry (for an ejection, which was later reduced to a flagrant 1) also have been fined.
Howard voiced frustration during the game about the physical nature of play. He picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter before eventually fouling out in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers won Game 4 in a rout, 128-95.
Dwight Howard fined for forearm to Matt Barnes' head in Game 4
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