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Erik Spoelstra Explains What Led To Heated Bench Argument

A closeup of Erik Spoelstra during a Heat game.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 09: Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat looks on against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at American Airlines Arena on April 09, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Tensions mounted on the Miami Heat sideline in the midst of Wednesday's 118-104 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Despite playing without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, the short-handed Warriors started the third quarter with a 19-0 run. During a timeout, an agitated Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem exchanged words, and head coach Erik Spoelstra also showed his frustration.

After the game, per Bally Sports Sun, Spoelstra tried to brush off the testy encounter as emotions getting the best of a passionate team. "We have a very competitive, gnarly group and we were getting our asses kicked," Spoelstra said. "That's two straight games we were not playing to the level that we wanted to play. I would say virtually every single person in that huddle was pretty animated about our disappointment in how we were playing."

Miami's second straight loss cuts its lead atop the Eastern Conference to 1.5 games over the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Boston Celtics. Spoelstra's squad has nine more games to maintain home-court advantage in the playoffs.

Some teams are able to quickly move past inner squabbling, or even use it as a bonding moment. The Heat have Thursday off to cool down and reset before returning to FTX Arena for back-to-back games against the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.