It started with Goran Dragic converting a layup in the final seconds of the Heat's 10-point Game 2 win on Monday. On Thursday, Dario Saric attempted a layup with four seconds remaining and Philadelphia leading by 19. He was blocked by Miami's Kelly Olynyk.
"I think they felt disrespected by Goran's [layup], and we weren't just going to let them do that," Miami's Justise Winslow said.
Philadelphia center Joel Embiid said Dragic's layup at the end of Game 2 bothered him.
"I wish I was there in that Game 2, because I was kind of pissed about it. ... I was on the sideline, really mad," said Embiid, who missed the first two games of the series because of an orbital fracture and concussion.
Embiid said he felt that Dragic didn't receive the same negative reaction that Saric encountered March 1, when he converted a dunk at the end of a blowout win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. In that game, Cavs guard Jordan Clarkson threw a ball at Saric's back after the dunk and was summarily ejected.
Embiid said he told his teammates to look to score if they encountered the same scenario late in Game 3, which the Sixers won 128-108.
"It's always good to blow a team out," he said. "I think we were up 18 or 20, and if you could get that lead up to 22, I think it's good. I love blowing teams out. I like the fact that we did that. We're not here to make friends. We're here to win a series."
On Wednesday, Dragic brushed off the idea that any of the Sixers were offended by his layup near the end of Game 2.
"I don't care. The first game we were down 30, and they were still running inbounds plays after timeouts with seven seconds left in the game," he said. "It's the playoffs. I'm doing everything it takes."
When asked whether Dragic's layup mattered to the Sixers, Robert Covington said on Wednesday: "It definitely matters, because he could have just dribbled it out and everything. ... We don't understand why he did it, but overall, we said that gives us anticipation, because obviously they care about the simple fact of a score of the game [that] they were already winning."
Sixers guard Ben Simmons said he wasn't bothered by Dragic's shot because the game wasn't over.
But, he added, "I would've dunked it."