Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will miss the Rockets’ season opener next year (assuming he’s healthy) after a common foul he committed in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors was upgraded to a flagrant one foul, the NBA announced Friday morning. The upgrade gave Howard the requisite flagrant foul points to warrant a one-game suspension.
The foul occurred in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ season-ending loss to the Warriors. When setting a screen on Andre Iguodala, Howard made “unnecessary contact with his forearm to the neck area” of Iguodala. The play was reviewed, but a flagrant wasn’t assessed at the time:
This comes after Howard wasn’t suspended for Game 5 when his flagrant one foul of Andrew Bogut in Game 4 wasn’t upgraded to a flagrant two. Howard and Bogut picked up double technicals for going after each other in Game 5, but those have been rescinded.
If Howard isn’t healthy for the first game of next regular season, the suspension will be served for the first game he’s “eligible and physically able to play.”