LeBron James scuffles with Jermaine O'Neal

Sunday's game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat was more than just a late-season matchup between two Eastern Conference powers. The winner would be set up to avoid having to face the suddenly resurgent New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs. So it's no surprise that emotions between the two teams were high.

They boiled over in the second quarter when LeBron James tangled with Jermaine O'Neal. While running the break, James collided with O'Neal and fired the ball at him starting a mini-brouhaha between the sides. O'Neal was charged with a Flagrant 1 while LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Paul Pierce were all hit with technicals.

LeBron finished with 27 points, seven assists and five steals as the Heat crushed the Celtics, 100-77 to grab the second seed. If everything shakes out right, these teams will meet again in the second round of the playoffs, although Boston is looking vulnerable for an upset by the Knicks. But add this in with all of the trash talk going on in the Western Conference between the Lakers, Thunder and Mavericks. Vince McMahon couldn't have created better promotion for the playoffs.

(H/T Jose3030)

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