OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Golden State backup big man Anderson Varejao insists he didn't deliberately trip Trail Blazers guard Gerald Henderson in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal playoff series.
Yet after watching the replay, he understands it sure looked like he did it on purpose.
Portland coach Terry Stotts called it a ''dirty play'' on Monday. Then Tuesday, the NBA ruled it a Flagrant 1 foul on Varejao.
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The 33-year-old Varejao, a 12th-year NBA veteran from Brazil, says ''I would never try to hurt anybody, I would never do that.''
He and Henderson were ejected late in the third quarter of Sunday's game after receiving their second technical fouls. Both were hit with a technical at the 3:29 mark of the third when Varejao tripped Henderson after they collided. Henderson jumped up, pointing a finger at his opponent's face. They kept jawing a few minutes later and were tossed with 15.1 seconds left in the period.