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Ron Artest Muscle
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On October 30, 2008, Artest received his first technical as a Houston Rocket, as he raced towards a group of Dallas Mavericks players and then quickly went to Yao Ming who bumped Josh Howard after play stopped. Artest was trying to pull Yao away from the play and to the foul line, but contact was made with Maverick players. The TNT broadcast crew felt this technical was not warranted, and was based upon Artest's prior reputation as a feisty player in the league. In the playoffs, Artest helped the Rockets advance past the first round for the first time in 12 seasons. In Game 2 of the second round against the Los Angeles Lakers, Artest, who was battling for rebounding position with Kobe Bryant, was elbowed in the neck by Bryant, which was later ruled to be a Type 1 flagrant foul. After being called for an offensive foul, Artest was indignant and proceeded to antagonize Bryant after the play, which eventually led to an ejection by Joe Crawford. In Game 3, Artest was again ejected in the fourth quarter after a hard foul on Pau Gasol, who was attempting to dunk on a fast-break. It was determined the next day that the foul was not serious enough to warrant an ejection, and the flagrant foul was downgraded.


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