Heat's Jimmy Butler hits Celtics' Al Horford with his own taunt during Game 3 of Eastern Conference Finals

Author Photo
Jimmy Butler and Al Horford
(Getty Images)

After torching Celtics forward Grant Williams in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Heat star Jimmy Butler has claimed another victim.

During the third quarter of Sunday night's Game 3 between Boston and Miami, the Heat rattled off an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 23 points. Gabe Vincent's 3-pointer forced Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla to burn a timeout and search for any solutions amid a disastrous performance.

MORE: The latest updates on Kevin Love's ankle injury

As Celtics players began walking back toward their bench, Butler dropped down to one knee and hit them with the timeout signal. This was a callback to Game 1 when Al Horford drilled a 3-pointer and told the Heat that they needed to take a timeout.

Boston leaned into Horford's taunt, tweeting out a photo of his gesture at the time. Of course, Butler got the last laugh in Game 1, as Miami won by a final score of 123-116.

While Butler didn't respond directly to Horford in that contest, he was ready to fire back that same taunt when the opportunity presented itself in Game 3.

Butler finished with 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals in a blowout 128-102 win, which gave the Heat a commanding 3-0 series lead.

This is just the latest instance of "Playoff Jimmy" transforming into "Petty Jimmy." He has been talking plenty of trash throughout the 2023 NBA Playoffs, including verbal battles with Williams and Jrue Holiday.

After the Heat's Game 2 victory, Butler sent out a warning to anyone who wants to challenge him on the court.

"It makes me smile. It does," Butler said. "When people talk to me, I'm like, 'OK, I know I'm a decent player if you want to talk to me out everybody that you can talk to.' But it's just competition. ... I just don't know if I'm the best person to talk to."

Author Photo
Jordan Greer is an NBA content producer for The Sporting News.