MIAMI -- Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith was guided off the court by Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue and members of the team's security staff at the conclusion of their 120-92 loss to the Heat on Saturday night, after he engaged in a shouting match with several Miami players.
Smith's ire was prompted by Miami's Rodney McGruder, who scored on a putback dunk over Cleveland's Channing Frye with 1:14 remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Heat up by 31 points and then celebrated by appearing to push Frye in the lower back.
On the Heat's ensuing possession, with the game nearly finished, Smith -- who was on the Cavs' bench in street clothes as he continues rehab from a broken right thumb that has caused him to miss the past 34 games -- began jawing with McGruder, who was standing on the corner of the court near the 3-point line next to the Cleveland sideline.
Several Cavs security guards came to Smith's side and appeared to calm the 13-year guard until the final buzzer sounded. Heat guard Dion Waiters -- who played three seasons for Cleveland from 2012 to 2015 -- approached the Cavs' bench while yelling and pointing in Smith's direction.
Smith, flanked by team personnel, made his way to the Cavs' locker room before the situation escalated beyond yelling and pointing.
"We got J.R. off the floor," Lue said. "He's fiery. He's feisty. He's ready to get back on the floor. It happens throughout the course of a game. It's nothing, though."
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra defended McGruder.
"If anybody knows Rodney, he's just out there competing," Spoelstra said. "He's going to compete every possession. He's not trying to show up anybody."
The Cavs will face the Heat again Monday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Frye also downplayed the events.
"I guess there were some extracurriculars," he said. "Tempers flared. It is what it is. It's over now. The game's over. They won. Congrats. We play another game on Monday. It's all good."
While Frye was being asked about the McGruder contact, Richard Jefferson interrupted a reporter and said, "Stop trying to make it a story," while seated at a nearby locker.
LeBron James, who like Irving was given the night off to rest, was unaware that anything occurred, as he left the Cavs' bench with about two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to use the restroom. When informed of what he missed in the postgame locker room, James told ESPN, "That just means J.R. is ready to come back."
Miami's Josh Richardson echoed James' sentiment.
"I know J.R. wants to get in the game and be able to have an impact on it," Richardson said. "That might have just added up."
Derrick Williams, who signed a contract with the Cavs for the remainder of the season on Saturday after beginning the season with the Heat, did not think McGruder had any ill intent.
"I'm not really sure what happened," Williams said. "I just know Rodney as a tough player, very physical on defense. I have nothing bad to say about him, so ... he's a tough guy, and I'm not really sure what happened, but I hope it wasn't anything extra. I know him personally. He's a good guy."