MIAMI — Boston Celtics players Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown needed to be separated on the bench after tempers flared between the two, culminating with Morris shoving Brown, during a second quarter timeout in Thursday's game against the Miami Heat.
A video captured by a fan behind the Boston bench and widely circulated on social media shows Morris and Brown exchanging words and Morris appears to tell Brown to “play harder,” before teammate Marcus Smart steps between the two right as Morris delivers a firm righthanded shove to Brown.
The incident occurred with 7:12 remaining in the second quarter and, a short time before the stoppage, it appeared Morris was visibly upset and clapped in the direction of Brown after Boston’s 22-year-old swingman was late getting back on defense on a play that Miami took advantage of numbers to generate an easy layup.
Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris had to get separated during a timeout...— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 11, 2019
(via ahubbtho/IG) pic.twitter.com/1EyBZyzvUn
Maybe exacerbating matters, as Morris voiced his frustration to Brown, the Celtics left inbounder Terry Rozier alone in the backcourt. As coach Brad Stevens implored someone to go help Rozier, Morris scrambled back to take the inbound.
Brown was subbed out of the game during the timeout when the altercation occurred and did not return in the first half. Brown didn’t sub back in until 37 seconds remaining in the third quarter and logged only 13 minutes, 50 seconds of total game time, though Stevens noted that Boston leaned heavier than usual on its starters — and energy-infusing rookie Robert Williams — while rallying back into the game in the third quarter.
Brown finished with 2 points on 1-of-5 shooting with two rebounds and an assist. Morris had 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting with six rebounds and an assist over 28:44.
Minor disagreements between teammates are not terribly uncommon over the course of a long season but typically take place behind closed doors and not with cameras recording the flare-up.
The Celtics are off Friday and are not scheduled to meet with reporters again until shootaround Saturday morning before a visit to the Orlando Magic that night.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE