Tyson Chandler threw a punch at Dwight Howard in Game 4

Tyson Chandler punches Dwight Howard

Things have been getting physical in this series between Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler. For the Mavericks center, it boiled over Sunday night.

Late in Game 4, Chandler responded to Dwight breaking off his arm hold with a punch to the back. The officials called a double technical, but the replay clearly shows that Chandler reared back with a closed fist and threw a punch at Howard.

According to the NBA rules on fouls and penalties:

Any player who throws a punch, whether it connects or not, has committed an unsportsmanlike act. He will be ejected immediately and suspended for a minimum of one game.

Given how important Chandler is to a team that plays almost no defense and the fact that their backs are to the wall, don’t look for the NBA to enforce the rule, but it’s clearly a punch and would merit a suspension under different circumstances.

Update 3:22pm: No surprise, but the NBA will not suspend Tyson Chandler for throwing this punch — he will play Tuesday night in Game 5. It sets an interesting precedent that teams could use in the future to potentially avoid suspensions. The reaction Chandler gets from Houston fans in Game 5 should be interesting.

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