The NBA on Tuesday downgraded Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea’s flagrant foul incurred during Monday’s loss to Miami, just as he predicted it would.
The decision by the league office never will bring back the eight minutes Barea missed at the end of Monday’s game. That’s when he was automatically ejected after officials reviewed a play in which Barea threw himself into Heat guard Ray Allen and determined it a flagrant foul type 2, the more severe of two kinds of flagrant fouls.
On Tuesday, the NBA changed it to a type 1, which means only that it will save Barea some money and take the type 2 penalty off his record.
“It’s all good now,” Barea said after practice Tuesday.
The Wolves trailed 76-70 with 8:09 left when Barea was ejected. Less than three minutes later, they trailed 86-71.
“It doesn’t change the course of the game last night, which is the unfortunate thing,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said Tuesday. “At least they did change it. … The game changed when all that happened. We were still down six. Could we have caught them? I don’t know. The subsequent calls after that changed the course of the game. You’ve got to move on. That’s the way it is.”
Barea had made one of 11 shots when he was ejected.
“I wasn’t that mad,” Barea said. “The way I was shooting it last night, I was like, ‘Get me out of here.’ They did me a favor.”
A.K., Pek out all week
Wolves starters Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic each will sit out at least the next three games — through Sunday’s game against Dallas — and will be re-evaluated after that.
Kirilenko has missed three games because of a strained calf, and Pekovic has missed two games because of strained abdominal muscles.
“I talked to both today, they’re not much different,” Adelman said. “We just hope they start turning the corner pretty soon.”
Ricky survives scare
Wolves guard Ricky Rubio went to the locker room at the end of the third quarter Monday after he said his surgically repaired left knee felt “unstable” for the first time since his December return. But he returned to play five-plus minutes in the fourth quarter.
“Just a little scare, but it was all perfect,” Rubio said. “Something first time scared me. I know knee injuries, but I’m good.”
Did he, or didn’t he?
The Heat’s victory-ensuring 17-5 flourish after Barea was ejected Monday also included a sequence in which Wolves rookie Alexey Shved appeared to make a clutch three-pointer and draw a foul.
Instead, he was whistled for an offensive foul for kicking out his leg to draw contact, with the team trailing 79-70.
He has been called for that offense before this season.
“That’s another interpretation they put in and you’ve got to figure it out,” Adelman said, referring to the NBA and its officials. “I was watching him shoot threes now and he’s making ’em without kicking out. He’s got to adjust to that.”