Despite no Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, or Otto Porter Jr., Golden State found themselves with a massive lead over Miami in the 3rd quarter. And it didn’t go over well on the Heat bench.
After a 19-0 Warriors run out of the locker room to grab a 69-50 lead, Jimmy Butler, Udonis Haslem, and Eric Spoelstra got into a massive argument on the sideline. Eventually, things got so heated that Butler had to be separated from both his veteran teammate and head coach, leading to quite the unexpected scene for a team that sits first-place in the East.
Check it out:
Jimmy Butler and Coach Spoelstra get heated on the sidelines 😳
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 24, 2022
Tempers flared between Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem during a timeout against the Warriors.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 24, 2022
Here’s another angle where you can actually hear some of the words exchanged:
Haslem telling Jimmy Butler “I’ll beat your ass” 😂 pic.twitter.com/9AcQiNw6WY
— Ted Buddwell 🏀🏈 (@TedBuddy8) March 24, 2022
To their credit, after the tense timeout, Miami was able to ignite their own massive run. They shrunk the Warriors lead to just one heading into the 4th quarter, but tensions may have been too high to finish on a high note. Golden State outscored Miami 37-24 in the final frame to cruise to a 118-104 victory.
Both Spoelstra and veteran point guard Kyle Lowry went on to downplay the incident after the game. As a team with a 1.5-game lead at the top of the conference, it could be easy to shake off such an incident, but it was still quite the situation to watch unfold mid-game.
Erik Spoelstra addressed the heated exchange in the Miami huddle pic.twitter.com/fEytC1yaMc
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 24, 2022
Lowry, "We got great leadership, it won't affect us at all."
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) March 24, 2022