Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts was fined $20,000 on Thursday for delivering a forearm to the neck of Heat forward LeBron James during Miami’s 101-97 victory in Game 2 of a first-round series.
With just under a minute remaining and Miami leading 97-94 on Wednesday, James attacked the basket from the top of the arc going to his left. As he approached the protected circle, James rose into a shot attempt, only to have McRoberts deliver a right forearm just underneath his chin. James’ head snapped backward and he went down to the court, where he remained for a bit to get his bearings.
McRoberts escaped with a common foul, but the NBA upgraded it to a Flagrant Foul 2, which applies to contact that is deemed “unnecessary and excessive” and would have mandated an automatic ejection. McRoberts will not be suspended for the play.
Miami held on to win 101-97 thanks to a game-high 32 points (on 11-for-17 shooting), eight assists, six rebounds and four steals from James. Chris Bosh added 20 points (on 8-for-11 shooting) and five rebounds.
Al Jefferson had 18 points (on 9-for-23 shooting) and 13 rebounds for Charlotte, even though he was clearly limited by a foot injury suffered during Game 1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished with a team-high 22 points (on 9-for-13 shooting) and 10 rebounds.
The second-seeded Heat lead the seventh-seeded Bobcats 2-0. Game 3 of the Eastern Conference series is Saturday in Charlotte.