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article imageVideo: Game 6 Heat-Pacers — Lance Stephenson slaps Norris Cole in face

By David Silverberg     May 30, 2014 in Sports
Miami - One of the most flagrant fouls of the week-long Indiana Pacers-Miami Heat NBA playoffs series began tonight when the Pacers' Lance Stephenson went for a loose ball against the Heat's Norris Cole. The Heat guard ended up with a hard face-slap.
Miami is leading the series 3-2, and a win tonight means LeBron and co. would be back in the Finals. The Pacers are doing everything they can to force a Game 7, including hard fouls against key bench players.
Recent video replays show Stephenson diving for the ball just as Cole runs to grab it. Stephenson's hand rises to slap Cole in the face, and the Heat player is shaken up for several moments.
Te foul happened tonight in Game 6 of the Conference Finals, with the Heat leading 33-20 with 8:54 left in the second quarter.
The refs quickly gathered to discuss which call they'd give to Stephenson. A flagrant one foul was called, as opposed to a flagrant two foul resulting in game ejection. This foul gave Cole two free throws - which he sank - and possession. Cole seemed unhurt the rest of the game.
Stephenson's aggressive play, whether intentional or not, underscores the recent spotlighting shining on the 23-year-old star. Stephenson was caught on video last game blowing into LeBron James' face (and if you didn't see Nintendo's response, you have to. Right now). Known as a rabble-rouser, Stephenson even irritated James in Game 6, by touching his face during a dead ball moment.
The game is currently underway. The Heat enjoy a healthy lead of 60-34 to begin the third quarter.
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