With 6:37 remaining in the fourth quarter, grant williams hit a 3-pointer to give the Boston Celtics a 96-87 lead over the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
After taking down all three, Williams had a few words to Miami star Jimmy Butler.
The six-time All-Star went down on the next possession and hit a shot of his own as Williams fouled him.
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The two players exchanged words, going face to face before being separated.
And Butler took it personally.
Following Williams’ shot and subsequent trash talk, Butler scored nine points to close out the fourth quarter and the Celtics as Miami took a 2-0 series lead with a 111-105 victory on Friday night.
«Yeah, he did,» Butler said when asked if the trade got him down the stretch, according to ESPN. «But that’s just competition at its best. He made a big bang, he started talking to me. I like that. I’m all for that. It gets me involved a lot more. It drives that willingness that I have to win a lot more. It makes me smile.It does.
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«When people talk to me, I’m like, ‘Okay, I know I’m a decent player, if you want to talk to me about everyone you can talk to.’ But it’s just competition. However, I respect him. It’s a big part of what they’re trying to do. Change. You can throw the ball. I just don’t know if I’m the best person to talk to.»
Williams, who did Boston’s last three field goal attemptshe said he would not run away from the showdown with Butler as the series heads to Miami.
«I’m a competitor. I’m going to fight. He got the best of me tonight. At the end of the day, it’s out of respect,» Williams said after the match. «Because I’m not going to run from it. My mom always taught me, and my dad too, you get kicked, you don’t come home until you fight again. Either you come back before you die or you come back and get a victory , and I’m not willing to die in this final.
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«I’m ready to f—— get a win. I’m ready to come back and go into Game Three with a better mentality, and I know this team is, too. So at the end of the day, tonight is tonight We have to focus and let this hurt, but at the end of the day, we have to come in tomorrow and really focus on what’s next.»
The Celtics are now 4-5 at home during the NBA Playoffs 2023 as the seven-game series moves to Miami on Sunday for Game 3.