Brawl In NBA Game Leads To Ejections After Player Apparently Chokes Star Forward

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Dana Abizaid Contributor
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A fight between the Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans in the fourth quarter Friday night in Miami resulted in four players being ejected, according to Bleacher Report.

Miami’s star forward, Jimmy Butler, and center Thomas Bryant were tossed along with the Pelicans’ Jose Alvarado, a point guard, and Naji Marshall, a small forward, according to Bleacher Report.

With about 11 minutes remaining in the game, Heat forward Kevin Love pushed the Pelicans’ Zion Williamson to the floor, sparking a scuffle which saw Naji Marshall allegedly choke Jimmy Butler, video of the altercation shows. (RELATED: Former NBA Superstar Dwight Howard, 11 Others Ejected After Basketball Brawl Explodes On Court)

Marshall and other team members entered the fray after Love took Williamson down with a foul, Bleacher Report reported.

After officials, teammates and coaches separated Butler and Marshall, Alvarado and Bryant went at each other, igniting another scuffle, according to Bleacher Report.

All four players — Butler, Bryant, Marshall and Alvarado — were subsequently ejected from the game, according to the outlet.

When the fight broke out the Heat were ahead by four points; they emerged with a 106 – 95 win. Butler led the way with 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists in only 27 minutes played, according to Bleacher Report.

Butler reportedly flexed his muscles to the crowd as he exited, according to USA Today.

On how the fight started, Butler accused Williamson of flopping after the Love foul and claimed the former No. 1 pick “knew he shouldn’t have done that,” USA Today reported.

“Then (Marshall) came and put his hands on K-Love and that’s how it all escalated,” Butler said.

“You never want to see that,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Once it was all done, the response was appropriate — discipline, physicality, force, but not going over the top.”

Although the game’s intensity led to fisticuffs, both teams appeared to appreciate the players’ responses, according to USA Today.

“It’s people competing — people riding for their teammates,” Williamson said.