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Heat's Jimmy Butler, 3 others, ejected after scuffle with Pelicans


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Miami's Jimmy Butler was among four players ejected after a scuffle early in the fourth quarter in the Heat's 106-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

Heat reserve Thomas Bryant and two Pelicans — Jose Alvarado and Naji Marshall, also were ejected after fisticuffs erupted with 11:19 left and Miami leading 84-81.

The scuffle began after Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson stole the ball from Butler, and Kevin Love grabbed Williamson to prevent an uncontested layup.

As Love was whistled for a foul, Williamson fell to the court and Marshall rushed in to object to the way Williamson was fouled.

Butler engaged Marshall and they briefly grabbed each other by the neck as teammates and coaches animatedly swarmed around them.

After it appeared that officials had managed to separate the teams, Bryant and Alvarado began bickering near the scorers' table and exchanged blows as a new scrum formed around them.

Fans gave Marshall and Alvarado, both popular reserves known for feisty play, a standing ovation as they left the court.

Emotions flared in the stands as well.

A fan wearing a Pelicans jersey began throwing things at Miami players as Alvarado and Bryant scuffled and was ejected by security. Soon after, a fan wearing a Heat jersey was escorted out.

Officials reviewed video of the altercations for several minutes before deciding on the four ejections. Love was assessed a common foul.


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba