NBA Clears Artest to Play in Game 4

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HOUSTON (AP) - Ron Artest will play in Game 4 of Houston's Western Conference semifinal against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

The NBA ruled Saturday that Artest's hard foul on Pau Gasol late in the Lakers' 108-94 win on Friday did not merit a one-game suspension. Artest was whistled for a flagrant foul, penalty two and ejected for the hit.

League spokesman Tim Frank said Saturday the foul was downgraded to a flagrant one.

The temperamental Artest was also thrown out of Game 2 in Los Angeles after a verbal confrontation with Kobe Bryant. Artest claimed that Bryant elbowed him in the neck, a blow that wasn't called by the officials.

The Lakers have a 2-1 lead in the series.