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Kevin Durant explains heated exchange with LeBron James in Game 4

LeBron James, Kevin Durant

In a lopsided start to Game 4 of the NBA Finals after the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ record-setting 49-point first quarter, many plays demanded a heated back-and-forth, but none caused more controversy than a face-to-face encounter between LeBron James and Kevin Durant, the two alpha dogs from each respective squad.

The two were seen in a heated argument in the third quarter as the referees took a moment to review a play in which Durant was hit in the face by Kevin Love.

Upon approaching the referee, James walked toward Durant and the two started chirping at each other in front of the refereeing crew.

Durant explained what went on between the two in his post-game interview, via Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated.

“We wasn’t coming to blows,” Durant explained. “We were just talking… The aura of the game created trash talk.”

The argument, though much ado about nothing, was symbolic of the intensity of the stage and how much these NBA Finals mean to each of these players, as the Golden State Warriors found themselves down 19 points before the play was declared a Flagrant 1 foul.

Durant split the free throws after him and James each walked their separate ways.