Jimmy Butler brawl fuels Miami Heat win over Pelicans

After a huge scuffle resulted in four players being ejected, the Miami Heat responded strongly and left New Orleans with a 106-95 victory.
Miami Heat v New Orleans Pelicans
Miami Heat v New Orleans Pelicans / Sean Gardner/GettyImages

After squandering a 19-point lead in the first half, the Miami Heat found themselves in a competitive game Friday night at New Orleans against the Pelicans. Each teams flexed their muscles defensively and their stars shined going into the fourth quarter, with Jimmy Butler and Zion Williamson both having very strong outings.

But early in the fourth, the game had to be halted after a Kevin Love wrap-up foul on Williamson led to a scuffle involving Jimmy Butler.

After a push by Naji Marshall on Love, Butler decided to put his hands on Marshall, with his right hand moving up and touching Marshall's neck. Marshall then retaliated by removing Butler's hand off of him and grabbing his throat, leading to Butler going after Marshall with players and staff having to get in between the two.

After that altercation died down, Jose Alvarado and Thomas Bryant continued to talk trash and built up to throwing punches, causing multiple players to break up another brawl with more players beginning to get involved.

After the smoke settled, the officiating crew discussed what occurred, and decided to eject Bryant, Alvarado, Marshall, and Butler, who exited stage left in typical Jimmy Butler fashion.

Player of the game: Bam Adebayo

With Butler ejected, the bat signal shined for Bam Adebayo to take over the game on both ends, and did he ever. In the fourth quarter, Adebayo scored 12 points and defended Williamson a majority of the fourth quarter, coming up with key stops highlighted by a world-class block.

On the offensive end, Adebayo found success off of beautiful pocket passes from Duncan Robinson, hitting floaters and finishing with a nice euro. Adebayo also created his own shot with shots in the mid-range over Larry Nance Jr. and had a strong finish over Jonas Valanciunas.

This was a signature performance from Adebayo, who displayed his two-way excellence when Miami needed it the most. With more games like this, there will be no debate about Adebayo being on the All-Defensive first team and an All-NBA team.

What we learned: Tyler Herro avoids serious injury

With the Heat beginning to pull away from the Pelicans, the game appeared to end with a dark cloud heading to Miami's locker room after Tyler Herro went down with a left knee injury.

Herro managed to get back up, but was putting no weight on his injured leg. But as he began to make his way to the locker room, Herro was gingerly walking on his injured leg. At first glance, this appeared to be a serious injury. But after speaking with the media, Herro left Heat fans with optimism regarding his status for the rest of the way.

Herro worked hard to recover from his broken hand last season and his ankle sprain early this year. Another injury that would have sidelined Herro for an extended period of time would have been heart crushing, but Heat Nation can breathe, as Herro made it known he will be okay.