INDIANAPOLIS — Juwan Howard and Lance Stephenson haven’t played any significant minutes of this playoff series, but their time on the court Sunday was intense.
Neither actually played in Game 4. Instead, they had to be separated during the pre-game warmups, a confrontation that was a culmination of bad blood between a 17-year veteran and a player who was only six years old when Howard turned pro.
For the second time in as many days, Howard actively sought out Stephenson, who gave the choke sign late in Game 3 after LeBron James missed a free throw. Stephenson apologized for that. But Howard marched over to Stephenson while the teams were warming up, spoke animatedly, and then went nose-to-nose with Stephenson before they were broken apart.
On Saturday afternoon, while the teams practiced inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Indianapolis Star‘s Mike Wells reported Howard shouted “Where’s Stephenson?” and walked toward the Pacers’ locker room before being turned around by Pacers guard Dahntay Jones.
About the confrontation on Sunday, Howard said: “We had a two-man difference of opinion. We both said what we had to say.”
The two had scuffled back on March 26 when Howard objected to rough play, and apparently, Howard didn’t forget, especially when Stephenson mocked LeBron.