Heat’s Kyle Lowry ejected after tossing ball back to official

Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry
Kyle Lowry was ejected on Wednesday night after he appeared to just return the ball to the referee. (AP/Jeff Chiu)

Miami Heat star Kyle Lowry was ejected early on Wednesday night after he appeared to just toss the ball back to the official after a foul.

Lowry, just before halftime of Miami’s 115-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center, went to toss the ball back to referee Matt Kallio after teammate Duncan Robinson was called for a shooting foul.

Kallio, however, apparently thought Lowry was trying to do something else — as he quickly ejected Lowry from the contest.

Lowry picked up a technical foul earlier in the period, which is what triggered the automatic ejection upon receiving his second.

Now if Lowry actually threw the ball at an official, that’s grounds for an ejection. No question. 

But Lowry gently tossed the ball toward the official in a dead-ball situation. And the ball actually hit the referee in his hands, which makes the call that much more questionable.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra clearly didn’t agree with the decision, either, as he quickly argued the call and was given a technical foul himself.

Either way, though, the damage was done. Lowry was out of the game.

Lowry finished his night with seven points and nine assists in 16 minutes.

Tyler Herro, Jusuf Nurkic ejected late

Tyler Herro and Jusuf Nurkic got into a scuffle late on Wednesday night, and both were ejected with just less than one minute left. 

Nurkic set a hard screen on Herro well above the 3-point line, which sent Herro to the ground, before cutting down toward the hoop. Herro, clearly upset, ran after Nurkic and shoved him in the back — which set them both off. Nurkic tried to throw a punch before the two were separated, and both were eventually ejected from the contest.

Herro finished with 16 points off the bench for the Heat. Nurkic dropped 14 points and had 13 rebounds for the Blazers.