The Miami Heat trailed the San Antonio Spurs by just six points with less than 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night - then things changed.
First, the Spurs benefited from a four-point play as Paddy Mills was fouled in the process of shooting a three. Having seen the Australian make the ensuing free throw, things then got worse for the Heat.
That's after Hassan Whiteside landed an elbow on Boban Marjanovic as the pair battled for a potential rebound on Mills' shot. The Miami center was handed a flagrant-2 foul and ejected from the game. Scroll down to see the play in question.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Marjanovic made the subsequent shot from the free-throw line, before Kawhi Leonard added two more with the Spurs' possession following the foul. The dramatic 30 seconds left the Heat trailing by 13 and they never recovered, eventually losing the game 119-101.
Article continues below
Whiteside's early exit on Tuesday night was the third time he has been ejected from a game since the start of the 2014-15 season - a league-high for the period.
Speaking after the game, Miami veteran Dwyane Wade defended his teammate, describing the incident as "a lapse in judgement."
Whiteside has become a key member of the Miami roster since bursting onto the scene last season, and his physical play has been a trademark of his game.
It has helped him average a staggering 3.89 blocks-per-game (most in the NBA) and 11 rebounds. However, Miami will be hoping he can avoid any further ill-discipline moving forward.