Dwight Howard walks off the court after being ejected in Denver on Wednesday. (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )
Dwight Howard has been fined $35,000 by the NBA for his flagrant foul on Kenneth Faried.
Howard was ejected with five minutes left in the third quarter of the Lakers' 126-114 loss to the host Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. Trying to stop Faried from scoring, Howard appeared to give the Nuggets forward a shove to the face.
He was assessed a flagrant-2 foul, resulting in an automatic ejection. Howard now has four points on his record and is two away from an automatic suspension.
The league looks at three criteria when determining punishment. Howard was in the clear on two: Faried was not seriously injured and there was no altercation as a result of the foul. It was under the umbrella of how hard the foul was, by NBA guidelines, that led to a fine.
According to a release from the league, "Howard made excessive contact with Faried above the shoulders."
Besides the monetary penalty Howard will pay, the Lakers are fortunate he wasn't suspended. The play didn't look as if it warranted a game off for Howard, but that's up to the NBA to decide in a case-by-case basis.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.