HOUSTON – Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler came to the Toyota Center on Tuesday morning not knowing all the controversy surrounding a play from Game 4 which the Houston Rockets think he should be suspended for.
With 2:44 left in Sunday’s game, Chandler and Rockets center Dwight Howard got tangled up on a play near the basket. On the ensuing trip up the floor, from one replay camera angle it looked as though Chandler threw a punch at Howard.
Chandler was whistled for a technical on the play. But the Rockets called foul, and wanted Chandler suspended from Game 5, which is tonight at 7 at the Toyota Center.
The NBA reviewed the play and said Chandler will not be suspended and that no further action will be taken.
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Still, when the media approached Chandler for his side on the entire scenario Tuesday morning, he had no idea what they were talking about.
"I wouldn’t throw any punches,’’ Chandler said. "That makes no sense.
"I’m surprised. I’m playing basketball. I didn’t throw a punch.’’
Howard agreed that he didn’t know of any punches thrown by Chandler, and then added: "I want him to play.’’
Chandler said for the entire series that he and Howard have been locked in arm-to-arm combat and are going at each other the way any two very physical players would. No punches are necessary, according to Chandler.
"Both of us throughout the whole game knock each other’s arms down,’’ Chandler said. "Its two players wanting it and wanting to get past it.
"I want my team to advance to the next round and he wants his team to advance to the next round.’’
Chandler noted that he could make a case where Howard is the one who has crossed the line with his physical play.
"I’m trying to figure out how I’m getting brought up in the conversation,’’ Chandler said. "I’m like, "I don’t even know what the hell they’re talking about.’ I don’t know what play.’’
The Rockets lead the best-of-seven series 3-1. And Chandler is more than excited about having another opportunity to take down the Rockets after the Mavs won Game 4, 121-109.
Even if he didn’t know he was at the center of a storm.
"He’s doing what it takes for his team to win and I’m out there doing what it takes for my team to win,’’ Chandler said. "I’ve known him and played alongside him with Team USA and all that good stuff.
"It’s nothing personal. Its two guys competing.’’
Chandler is just happy the NBA saw what happened in Game 4 was nothing more than basketball at its physical finest.
"I want him at his best and he wants me at my best,’’ Chandler said. "You don’t want the league to take something away from you.’’