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Basketball: Pacers' Stephenson, Hibbert fined for flopping

Indiana guard Lance Stephenson was fined US$10,000 and centre Roy Hibbert docked US$5,000 by the NBA for flopping in the Pacers' 93-90 playoff win over Miami the night before.

NEW YORK: Indiana guard Lance Stephenson was fined US$10,000 and centre Roy Hibbert docked US$5,000 by the NBA on Thursday for flopping in the Pacers' 93-90 playoff win over Miami the night before.

Stephenson's fine was double because it was his second violation of this post-season. His latest flop - falling over or to the court after minimal contact from an opposing player - came with 8:23 left in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's game.

As the Pacers brought the ball down court, Stephenson was brushed by Miami's LeBron James and crashed backward to the floor as if he'd taken a hard shove.

Hibbert's dramatics came with 5:18 remaining. Miami's Mario Chalmers was going for a rebound when he bumped Hibbert and the Indiana big man made a sprawling dive to the floor.

While Stephenson's flop drew the attention of the league, the brash Indiana player was under scrutiny too for his continued baiting of four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James and the rest of the Heat.

Trying to annoy the Miami superstar, he blew into James ear, and he earned a scowl from Heat coach Erik Spoelstra as he tried to cosy up to a Miami sideline conference.

"I'm just here to play basketball, man," was James's comment after a game in which he was hindered by foul trouble and scored just seven points. "All the extracurricular activities, I don't really get into."

With Wednesday's win the Pacers narrowed the gap in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series to 3-2, but Miami will have another chance to close it out and reach their fourth straight championship series when they host game six on Friday.

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