Penalty could come before Game 3
The NBA has commenced a review of Dallas Mavericks center Erick Dampier's postgame comments Monday in San Antonio that could result in an official penalty from the league office -- most likely in the form of a fine -- before Thursday's Game 3.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed Tuesday night that Dampier will be interviewed by league security officials about his statements after vowing to put San Antonio's Tony Parker "on his back" with his first foul in Game 3.
Parker shredded Dallas' defense for 38 points Monday night to spark San Antonio to a 105-84 triumph that evened the long-standing Texas rivals' first-round series at 1-1.
"Parker got into the teeth of our defense and caused problems," Dampier told The Dallas Morning News after the game. "Every time he drives the lane, we have to put him on his back. The first foul has to tell him he's in for a long night. My first foul Thursday night is going to put him on his back. I guarantee it."
Even if the 6-11, 265-pound center avoids further sanction from the league for his "guarantee," Dampier has potentially compromised the Mavericks' efforts to contain Parker and Tim Duncan, almost certainly inviting closer scrutiny from the referees who will be working Thursday night when the series shifts to Dallas. Dampier's strong play in Game 1 (10 points, 11 rebounds) against Duncan helped the Mavericks steal the series opener on the road.
Six of Parker's 16 baskets Monday were layups, including four alone in a 19-point first quarter.
Both teams used Tuesday as an off day from the practice court as well as the media. Spurs officials declined ESPN.com's request for a reaction to Dampier's statements and neither Mavericks owner Mark Cuban nor Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle could be immediately reached for comment.
Parker said before the playoffs began that he was anticipating contact on his drives from the Mavs, who won a seventh game in San Antonio when these teams last met in the playoffs in 2006.
"I'm used to it," Parker told the San Antonio Express-News. "It's no different for me. I'm still going to try to penetrate and be aggressive. I'm definitely going to be on the ground, but I'll get up."
Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.
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