NBA regular season

Too heated: Butler, 3 others ejected as tempers flare in Heat-Pelicans duel


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Too heated: Butler, 3 others ejected as tempers flare in Heat-Pelicans duel

BRAWL. Heat forward Jimmy Butler, Pelicans forward Naji Marshall, and guard Jose Alvarado are ejected after a melee.

Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Heat star Jimmy Butler and three other players get thrown out following a brawl during an emotional Heat-Pelicans battle

Bam Adebayo scored 24 points and Jimmy Butler had 23 before being ejected early in the fourth quarter, and the visiting Miami Heat held off the New Orleans Pelicans, 106-95, in an emotional battle Friday night, February 23 (Saturday, February 24, Manila time).

Adebayo, who finished with 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, scored 12 points in the fourth quarter while the Pelicans scored just 15. 

Butler returned from a three-game absence due to bereavement leave to help the Heat win for the seventh time in nine games. He added 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals.

Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, Heat forward Kevin Love committed a hard common foul on Pelicans star Zion Williamson, leading to a series of skirmishes. 

Eventually, Butler, teammate Thomas Bryant, who hadn’t played but got involved after leaving the bench area, and the Pelicans’ Naji Marshall and Jose Alvarado all were ejected.

Duncan Robinson scored 17 points and Tyler Herro had 15 for the Heat.

Williamson scored 23 points, with 9 rebounds and 7 assists. 

Herbert Jones had 19 points, Jordan Hawkins finished with 14, Jonas Valanciunas added 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Larry Nance Jr. scored 10 for the Pelicans, who saw their four-game winning streak end. 

Second-leading scorer Brandon Ingram missed his second consecutive game because of a non-COVID illness.

Hawkins’ three-pointer gave New Orleans a two-point lead with 8:31 left, but the Pelicans didn’t score again for more than six minutes.

Haywood Highsmith made a triple that started an 11-0 run that gave the Heat a 100-91 lead.

The Heat started the third quarter on a 19-8 run, during which Adebayo scored 6 points and Butler 5.

Hawkins scored 5 points to help the Pelicans pull within one point before Miami took an 84-80 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Butler scored 10 points to lead the Heat to a 31-24 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Butler made consecutive field goals to complete a 12-0 run at the start of the second quarter, giving the Heat a 19-point lead.

New Orleans scored 30 of its 34 second-quarter points in the final 7:33. Jones scored 10 during the spurt, which produced a 58-all halftime tie. –

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