The Miami Heat got a pivotal victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night in a super-intense game featuring multiple bizarre incidents.
Shortly before halftime Heat guard Kyle Lowry earned his second technical of the contest and an ejection after lightly tossing the basketball toward an official. With all the force and fury one would deliver to a third-grader at a basketball camp. It was an entirely soft whistle that literally everyone doesn't want to see result in the dismissal of a primary player. It's also not worth getting the tar and feathers ready because none of us were privy to what Lowry was saying while returning the ball.
Apparently it included some naughty words.
"Kyle Lowry received his second technical foul for continuous complaining and throwing the ball at a game official in an unsportsmanlike manner," the NBA explained postgame. "As per rule, a player receiving a second unsportsmanlike technical foul is automatically ejected."
Then, with Miami enjoying a double-digit advantage in the final minute, Tyler Herro took exception to a strong Jusef Nurkic screen, charged the big man, and narrowly avoided eating a punch. Both players suffered the same fate as Lowry. They'll have to sweat out potential fines/suspension because the NBA simply cannot have fisticuffs out on the court. Or donnybrooks. Or hullabaloos. Really anything on the sliding scale of dust-up to Armageddon.
While the offending screen wasn't egregiously violent, there was some extra oomph to it. A neutral observer can point out Nurkic looks a bit silly standing over Herro and talking trash when his team is desperately trying to cover the spread instead of win the moneyline.
Very few heroes in this one.