Goran Dragic didn’t mince words on his way out of Phoenix and the Suns didn’t speak too fondly of the guard once he was sent to Miami at the trade deadline. That dynamic set up a revenge game of sorts: Two weeks after Dragic made it known that he had lost faith in the direction of the Suns, he faced off against his former team on the Heat’s home court.
Some animosity was to be expected. Yet Dragic got more than he bargained for on a fast break early in the second half, when Suns forward Markieff Morris sent his former teammate careening to the floor:
Morris was assessed a flagrant two foul on the play, which carries with it an automatic ejection. This was Morris’ first flagrant two of the season, though he had committed two flagrant one fouls – tying him for a league-high, per NBA Miner. This was Morris’ second ejection.
Morris didn’t seem to think the play warranted his removal from the game, per Bleacher Report’s Ethan J. Skolnick:
Markieff Morris says that the Dragic play was "overexagerated.... It was a hard foul."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) March 3, 2015
Nor did Suns coach Jeff Hornacek:
Correction on earlier tweet: Hornacek said that Dragic always throws his "right" elbow out. Which makes more sense, considering he's lefty.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) March 3, 2015
Tension in the game continue to build after the play. Minutes later, Hassan Whiteside and Alex Len – the starting centers for both teams – escalated their chippy play into a wrestling match. What ensued wasn’t much of a fight, yet Whiteside and Len were ejected for their role in making a dangerous game all the more volatile.
Shortly thereafter, Miami’s Henry Walker and Chris Andersen ended a Marcus Morris drive by meeting Morris in the air and sending him to the floor with a downward swing. What was initially ruled a common foul was then upgraded to a flagrant one on Walker, resulting in penalty without ejection. In all, the teams accrued two flagrant fouls (Morris and Walker), six technical fouls (Walker, Morris, Morris, Whiteside, Gerald Green), and three ejections (Morris, Len, Whiteside).
Miami won the game handily, 115-98.