NBA retroactively gives flagrant foul to Golden State’s David Lee for elbow on Dwight Howard

MINNEAPOLIS — The ruling doesn’t exactly erase the reality that Dwight Howard needed three stitches to stop the bleeding on his lower lip. It may not assuage his frustration level, either.

But the NBA retroactively assessed a flagrant foul type 1 on Golden State Warriors forward David Lee for his elbow on Howard in the second quarter of the Lakers’ 109-103 loss Monday to the Golden State Warriors.

That sequence prompted Howard both to foul Lee and draw a technical with 3:15 left in the second quarter after jawing with him.

“He got away with a shot,” Howard said after the game. “I’ll remember this game.”

Howard obviously had the rest of the game to retaliate, but he maintained he didn’t want to receive a second technical and an immediate ejection. So the Lakers’ matchup April 12 against Golden State at Staples Center could yield more storylines beyond the team’s respective playoff seedings.

Despite talking with Lee before the second half started, Howard hardly sounded happy with his explanation.

“He said he wasn’t trying to do it,” Howard said. “You can look at the play and see for yourself.”

The NBA did and agreed.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at

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  • Yay! Small victories. Small, retroactive, meaningless victories. That kind of season.