Jimmy Butler is known in the NBA as a fierce competitor who will not give up on anyone.

Teammate of the Philadelphia 76ers T.J. McConnell certainly knows this and took extreme measures Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks to make sure Butler's intensity did not get him in trouble.

Late in the third quarter, Butler was watching Alex Len in the post when Len caught Butler with an elbow in the jaw. Butler fell to the ground and became visibly angry with Len. But before things got out of control, McConnell intervened and literally dragged Butler away from Len before the confrontation continued.

The coldest heads prevailed and Len received a flagrant fault for the elbow. Butler hit two free throws while the game continued without further incident.

Len and the rebuilt Hawks managed to win a big road win, beating Butler and the 76ers 123-121. Len finished with nine points and six rebounds in 13 minutes from the bench.

Butler led the 76ers with a team score of 30 points, but missed a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining that could have tied the game.

Follow Matt Eppers on Twitter @meppers_.


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