Juwan Howard and Lance Stephenson in Game 4 pregame verbal altercation

By Royce Young | NBA writer


Lance Stephenson didn't make any friends with the Miami Heat when he flashed a "choke" to LeBron James and the Heat after LeBron missed a third-quarter free throw in Game 3. Retaliation was to be expected, and it came nearly 90 minutes before tip-off in Game 4.

Via Yahoo! Sports, Stephenson and veteran Juwan Howard exchanged words on the court, standing face to face. Stephenson was shooting with his teammates on the Indiana end of the floor when Howard walked past on the way to Miami's locker room.

According to reports, it's unclear who initiated the exchange, but then again, I guess you could say Stephenson sort of did in Game 3. Pacers assistant Brian Shaw separated the two and escorted Howard off the floor. It apparently never escalated near a physical altercation.

Stephenson then reportedly just stood with a grin on his face and continued warming up.

LeBron responded, or didn't, about Stephenson's gesture saying, "Lance Stephenson? You want a quote about Lance Stephenson?" James said after practice. "I'm not even going to give him the time. Knock it off."

Following Game 3, Stephenson and the Pacers issued an apology for making the "choke" sign.
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