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Lance Stephenson, Juwan Howard Separated In Pre-Game Verbal Altercation

Leave it to the two players least likely to make a difference in the Pacers-Heat series to catch the most attention: after Lance Stephenson's choking gesture in the Pacers' blowout win, Juwan Howard shouted at Stephenson during pre-game warmups 90 minutes before tip-off of Game 4. Adrian Wojnarowski had the report:

It was unclear which player had said something to start the jawing, but Howard was soon warning Stephenson to keep his mouth shut, as Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw stepped between the players and nudged Howard away from the court. There didn’t appear to be any possibility that the altercation would evolve into violence,

The weird thing is, the beef between Howard and Stephenson goes back further than this. From Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star:

As the Heat were making their way to the Pacers practice court on Saturday, Howard turned down the hallway that leads to the Pacers locker room, asking – and cussing – where he could find Stephenson.

[...] Howard and Stephenson already have some history.

Howard picked up two technicals and was ejected for arguing with Stephenson during the Feb. 14 game between the two teams at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

I'm not really sure where this stems from -- Howard is a 17-year veteran, while 21-year-old Stephenson is best known for his high school career at Lincoln in New York. Either way, they won't affect the series -- they've played a total of 14 combined playoff minutes, so this doesn't really matter.

For more on the Heat, check out Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more on the Pacers, head over to Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana.

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