MIAMI - The NBA's flop cop handed out three violations from the Game 4 flop-fest between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers.
Miami's LeBron James and Indiana's David West and Lance Stephenson were each fined $5,000 for flops committed in Indiana's 97-92 victory Tuesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
In addition, West's foul on Miami's Dwyane Wade with 5:57 left in the fourth quarter was upgraded from a regular foul to a flagrant foul one.
It was a busy day for NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson's office, which had to wade through video of the game.
"We accept it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday morning. "We don't want the attention or the focus to be on the officiating. We want it to be on the competition, which is a great series."
James and West were penalized for flops on the same play - a rare case of synchronized flopping - with 4:15 left in the fourth quarter of Indiana.
"I was trying to post up. I knew he was trying to draw a foul," West said. "I just thought it was a high-contact play. He just tried to draw a foul. ... It's not going to change the way I play at all."
The NBA caught Stephenson flopping with 5.2 seconds left in the first quarter.
It was Miami's first flopping violation of the season, regular season included, and while the Pacers were not cited for flopping violation during the regular season, they have been hit with three flopping violations in the playoffs.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel stayed clear of the topic.
"I have no thoughts on officiating or flopping. I have nothing to share. Sorry," Vogel said early afternoon.
It seems players have just accepted that flops will occur, that it is part of the game and they will live with the consequences. West called it gamesmanship.
"You've got to do whatever you've got to do within the guidelines of the game to win, whether it's trying to draw fouls or bait guys
or whatever," West said. "It's just a part of the game."
There is an escalating financial penalty for flopping in the playoffs: the second flop is a $10,000 fine, the third flop $15,000, the fourth $30,000 and the fifth flop and more than five is "Subject to discipline reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension."
A debate has emerged. Is the fine enough of a deterrent to prevent flopping? Pacers center Roy Hibbert offered his view.
"If the NBA came up to you and said 'Give me $5,000 out of your pocket right now, cash' people probably would have a problem," Hibbert said. "But it's out of your check, so you don't see it. It gets blown up by the media."
The series is tied at 2-2, and Game 5 is Thursday in Miami (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT).