Heat Inspired by Altercation Despite Loss to the Shorthanded Warriors

One night after Draymond Green called out his Golden State Warriors teammates for playing “soft, stupid, and being punked,” the Warriors watched the Miami Heat handle their frustrations differently and much more passion and aggression.

After battling the Warriors to a 50-50 halftime tie, the Heat gave up a 19-0 run to start the third quarter to a Golden State team without the services of Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Green.

Then during the timeout, it looked as if Jimmy Butler and Coach Erik Spoelstra had words. It was then when long-time veteran Udonis Haslem got into an altercation on the sideline with Butler. After teammates separated them, Spoelstra got angry with Butler as well, and then Heat players had to separate them.

Just moments later, the combative situation woke Miami up and sparked them to go on a momentum-shifting run to cut the lead to 81-80 by the end of the third quarter before the Warriors pulled away again to win 118-104.

“You can use moments during the season to catapult you,” Spoelstra said about the potential effects of the event going forward via ESPN. “You can galvanize together over frustration and disappointment. Teams can also go the other way. I don’t see that with our group. I don’t see that with our locker room. But we have needed a kick in the butt.”

Wednesday night’s loss was the Heat’s second straight to a short-handed opponent. The Philadelphia 76ers beat them Monday night without James Harden and Joel Embiid in the lineup. 

When Heat point guard Kyle Lowry was asked about the heated moment, he downplayed the incident as not as big a deal as some make it out to be.

“It’s crazy, but it’s passion. … It’s good sometimes to get some anger and frustration out and just talk about it,” Lowry said via CBS Sports.com. “We’re gonna have situations that make people uncomfortable, but at the end of the day, as long as we’re comfortable and we figure it out, that’s all that really matters as long as we’re together. And we are.”

Miami has a chance to show their unity against the New York Knicks on Friday.