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NBA: Butler to lose more than $250,000 among suspensions for Pelicans vs Heat brawl

Miami Heat NBA player Jimmy Butler

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler will be suspended for one game and lose $260,000 for his role in a brawl during the NBA game against the New Orleands Pelicans on Friday.

Butler and Pelicans forward Naji Marshall both received a single-match punishment for “instigating and engaging in” the chaotic altercation.

Three other players have also been suspended without pay, with Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado and Heat center Thomas Bryant each suspended for three games for leaving the bench area and Miami forward Nikola Jovic missing one game for the same offence.

Butler and Marshall went head-to-head during the fourth quarter after a challenge by Heat forward Kevin Love on counterpart Zion Williamson, who had stolen the ball from Butler.

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Alvarado and Bryant fought, with all four players ejected. Bryant will lose $52,308, Jovic $12,655, Alvarado $37,988 and Marshall $11,096.

Pelicans vs Heat ‘boiled over’

“It didn’t have the intensity of an All-Star Game, that’s for sure,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But that’s what competitors want, that’s what the fans want – that’s what everybody wants.

“Sometimes it boils over, unfortunately. It was just a misunderstanding on the play. Zion slipped on the play and, when Love grabbed him, it looked a lot worse than it was.

“Everybody kind of over-reacted. They interpreted that Love threw him down, which I don’t think, on his best day, he could throw him down.

“Love and Zion didn’t have anything going on with them. Love, I think, just helped him up, and then it was unfortunate from that point and escalated.

“The intentions were right at first but you get a bunch of competitive people out there and it boiled over.”

Marshall will miss the Pelicans’ home game against Chicago Bulls on Sunday, while Alvarado will also be absent for their subsequent games against the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers.

Butler and Jovic are out of their team’s game against the Sacramento Kings on Monday. Bryant will not feature in that fixture or their games against Portland and Denver.

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