Boston Celtics teammates Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart reportedly got into a heated argument in the locker room following the team's 106-101 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday night.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, sources said Brown and Smart had to be separated by teammates after Smart stormed into the locker room and said other players needed to be held accountable aside from just himself.
Brown reportedly told Smart he needed to cool off and that the Celtics "must stay together and that their actions must come as a team, not individually."
Objects were reportedly thrown, but the situation was diffused before things got physical, and sources indicated Smart and Brown have since smoothed things over.
One source said, "They will move past this and focus on the task."
Smart's emotion likely stemmed from the fact that Boston blew a 13-point halftime lead and now trails 2-0 in the series. The Celtics also blew a 12-point lead entering the fourth quarter of Game 1, calling into question their ability to finish games.
In Thursday's loss, Smart finished with 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting to go along with four assists, four rebounds and four turnovers. Meanwhile, Brown went 8-of-14 for 21 points with six rebounds, two assists and one turnover.
Brown had a chance to tie the game with just 15 seconds remaining, but he missed a good look from beyond the arc. Miami grabbed the rebound, and Jimmy Butler made two game-clinching free throws.
Smart appeared agitated at times during the game, and a source told Charania he even shouted at his assistant coaches on several occasions.
There is little doubt that the tough and tenacious Smart is one of Boston's vocal and emotional leaders, but that may not have manifested in a positive way in Game 2.
The Celtics have a deep hole to dig out from as they face a 2-0 deficit against a Heat team that is firing on all cylinders. Getting Smart on the same page with his teammates will be of the utmost importance for head coach Brad Stevens prior to Saturday's Game 3.