WATCH: Emotions erupt for Heat as grip on top seed in East slips away


For nearly three months now, the Boston Celtics have been taking care of business during an improbable climb up the Eastern Conference standings.

As the season comes down the home stretch, one of the team's still in front of the C's appears willing to help Boston complete its rise to the top.

Celtics-Jazz takeaways: C's get payback in flawless performance

On a night when the Celtics were busy blowing out one of the best teams in the Western Conference at home, the Miami Heat did the opposite. Not only did Miami lose to the Golden State Warriors, the Heat lost their cool with one another during a timeout.

Tempers boiled over between Jimmy Butler, Miami's leading scorer and all-around best player, and longtime coach Erik Spoelstra, as well as teammate Udonis Haslem in a game the Heat would lose, 118-104.

The loss, coupled with Boston's win over the Utah Jazz, shrunk Miami's lead to just 1.5 games over the Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Whether or not it was an isolated incident remains to be seen, but Butler, a six-time All-Star, has also worn out his welcome with the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sixers in recent years.

The Celtics host the Heat a week from Wednesday at TD Garden, a game which could be for the top spot in the East.