Kevin Garnett downplays heated exchange with Carmelo Anthony

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The veteran never known for backing down from an altercation was quick to brush it off as anything serious.

Things between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett got a little chippy late in the fourth quarter of the Boston Celtics' 102-96 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

When the whistle blew dead after a foul call on Garnett, he and Anthony went back and forth in a brief but intense shouting match that you can check out here (be warned: it contains audible foul language). After the game, he was quick to write off the spat as nothing more than the result of an intense rivalry.

"Listen, heat of the battle, man, guys throw back and forth," Garnett said of the on-court dust-up with Anthony, via ESPN Boston. "He’s trying to get his team to go; I’m trying to get my team to go. Both teams are colliding. Not to mention that it’s the Knicks and the Celtics. Just what it is."

The play in question resulted in double technicals, and both players finished the game. Anthony was not available after the game for comment.

Things could get interesting as both Anthony and Garnett are slated to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA All-Star game in February.

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