NBA regular season

NBA suspends 5 Heat, Pelicans players for melee


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NBA suspends 5 Heat, Pelicans players for melee

HEATED. Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) and New Orleans Pelicans forward Naji Marshall (8) and guard Jose Alvarado (15) are ejected after a melee due to a play during the second half at Smoothie King Center.

Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The NBA punishes Jimmy Butler, Jose Alvarado, Naji Marshall, Thomas Bryant, and Nikola Jovic for their roles in the on-court altercation during the Heat-Pelicans game

The NBA suspended Miami forward Jimmy Butler and New Orleans forward Naji Marshall for one game without pay for instigating and engaging in an on-court altercation during the Heat’s 106-95 victory recent over the host Pelicans, the league announced Sunday, February 25 (Monday, February 26, Manila time).

Heat center Thomas Bryant and Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado were suspended three games without pay for leaving the bench area during the on-court altercation and fighting. Heat forward Nikola Jovic got suspended one game without pay for leaving the bench area and entering the altercation.

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

Butler and Marshall engaged in a physical altercation and then Alvarado and Bryant began fighting. For their roles, Alvarado, Bryant, Butler, and Marshall were assessed technical fouls and ejected from the game.

Marshall served his suspension Sunday, and Alvarado began serving his penalty as well when New Orleans lost 114-106 to the Chicago Bulls.

Bryant will begin serving his suspension on Monday when the Heat visit the Sacramento Kings. Butler and Jovic also will serve their suspensions that night.

Butler leads the Heat with 21.4 points per game and also averages 5.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 33.7 minutes. Jovic averages 5.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 16.7 minutes, while Bryant averages 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 10.4 minutes.

Marshall averages 7.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game, while Alvarado averages 7.0 points and 2.2 rebounds in 16.8 minutes. –

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