There was no love lost between Jaylen Brown and Duncan Robinson during Sunday’s Celtics-Heat showdown in Miami, and tensions didn’t cool much after Boston’s 110-106 win.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the two players got tangled up when Brown tried to collect a Derrick White pass on the perimeter. Robinson’s arm latched onto the Celtics All-Star, who then appeared to pull on it, sending the Heat sharpshooter into the stands.
Brown and Robinson exchanged words at the free throw line, and the former was assessed a flagrant foul 1.
Speaking after the game, Robinson took issue with the play, calling it “dirty.”
“Just thought it was dangerous, unnecessary and excessive,” he said.
Brown had no issue with his own actions, instead laying the blame on Robinson.
“There was no issue for me,” he said. “I think he knew exactly what he was trying to do. Trying to get tangled up, etc., because he didn’t want to play defense. They called the foul, but he was still trying to hang on, so I was trying to get my arm free.
“Miami’s known for being physical. Miami’s known for getting away with a lot of that stuff, kind of mucking up the game. You know, at the end of the day, you got to protect and own your space. I feel like Duncan Robinson knew what he was doing there, trying to get tangled up, trying to draw whatever. 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 exchange 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 afterward [when the two exchanged words]. I thought that was tremendous and it was great for us. It was beautiful.”
The Heat ousted the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals last year, winning a seven-game thriller. But they’re 0-3 against Boston after Sunday’s game, the final time they’ll meet this regular season.