There was no love lost between Jaylen Brown and Duncan Robinson in Sunday’s Celtics-Heat showdown in Miami, and tensions didn’t ease much after Boston’s 110-106 victory.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the two players tangled when Brown attempted to recover a pass from Derrick White on the perimeter. Robinson’s arm caught on the Celtics All-Star, who appeared to yank on it, sending the Heat sharpshooter into the stands.
Brown and Robinson exchanged words at the free throw line, and the former was given a flagrant 1 foul.
Speaking after the match, Robinson also took issue with the play, calling it “dirty”.
“I just thought it was dangerous, unnecessary and excessive,” he said.
Brown had no problem with his own actions, instead placing the blame on Robinson.
“There was no problem for me,” he said. “I think he knew exactly what he was trying to do. Try to tangle and stuff, because he didn’t want to play defense. They called the foul, but he was still trying to hang on , so I tried to free my arm.
“Miami is known for being physical. Miami is known for getting away with a lot of that stuff, which kind of ruins the game. You know, at the end of the day, you have to protect and own your space. I feel like Duncan Robinson. I knew what he was doing there, trying to tangle, trying to draw anything. I don’t know what he was trying to do, but I bet you he won’t do it again.
Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said he had no problem with the trade and appreciated the “passion” of the moment.
“I thought JB handled it really well,” he said. “I really liked the altercation at the free throw line afterwards (when the two exchanged words). I thought it was great and it was great for us. It was beautiful.”
The Heat ousted the Celtics in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, winning a seven-game thriller. But they are 0-3 against Boston after Sunday’s game, the last time they will meet this regular season.