NBA rules Jeff Foster fouls flagrant

Updated: April 22, 2011, 6:39 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

The NBA upgraded two hits Indiana Pacers center Jeff Foster leveled against the Chicago Bulls during Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series on Thursday, making them both flagrant 1 fouls.

Foster will not be suspended for Game 4 on Saturday. A flagrant 1 is considered less severe than a flagrant 2 foul, which calls for an automatic ejection from the game. Two flagrant 1 fouls in a game also call for an ejection.

"Whatever they want to do," Foster said with a shrug as he walked to the locker room Friday afternoon before the ruling. He was unaware the league was reviewing the fouls.

Foster banged into Derrick Rose in the third quarter when the Bulls guard was driving the lane. Rose also was hit by Tyler Hansbrough on the play.

Rose responded emotionally by getting in the face of Foster, who was called for the foul.

"He's so fast, I just went in there and ended up hitting him," Foster said after the game. "He reacted. It's the playoffs. I'm sure he's going to get hit plenty of times."

Rose called the foul "a little irritating" but didn't seem angry after the game.

"That's his job," Rose said. "But you have to stand up to it. I was just trying to go to the basket and create contact."

Later in the quarter, Foster dropped an elbow to the head of Luol Deng and drew a foul.

"I thought they were good, clean playoff fouls," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said Friday. "That's all we talked about with our guys. We want to protect our basket. We don't want flagrants. We're not trying to hurt people. But we protect our basket and we protect it in a physical manner."

Neither play resulted in a flagrant call at the time. A player receives points for a flagrant, and enough points result in a suspension.

"Let the league make those decisions," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said on Friday. "We're just getting ready for the next game, that's all."

ESPNChicago.com's Mark Montieth and Nick Friedell contributed to this report.

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