INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Dwyane Wade lashed out in frustration during the worst playoff game of his career.
His target wasn’t wearing an Indiana uniform. Wade confronted his coach as the Miami Heat melted.
The star had an animated exchange with Erik Spoelstra on the sideline in the third quarter, a disturbing low point on a night when nothing went Miami’s way, and the Heat were throttled 94-75 by the Pacers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Wade needs to shake off a startling 5-point, 2-of-13 shooting performance he made worse by challenging Spoelstra.
During a timeout, Spoelstra was talking to Wade, who didn’t like what he heard and angrily snapped at his coach. Several Miami players stepped in before the confrontation escalated.
Afterward, Wade didn’t want to discuss the dispute.
“I don’t even remember what you all are talking about,” he said.
Spoelstra dismissed his clash with Wade as a heat-of-battle moment.
“That happens,” Spoelstra said. “Anybody that has been part of a team or has been a coach or been a player, you have no idea how often things like that happen. That was during a very emotional part of the game. We were getting our butt kicked. Those exchanges happen all the time during the course of an NBA season.
“There’s going to be a lot of times where guys say something, you don’t like it. You get over it and you move on. We’re all connected. Dwyane and I have been together for a long time, a long time. We’ve been through basically everything. A lot of different roles, a lot of different teams. That really is nothing. That is the least of our concern. That type of fire, shoot, that’s good. That’s the least of our concerns. Our concern is getting ready for Sunday.”