With Phoenix down 70-32 early in the third quarter, Williams substituted backup big man Bismack Biyombo for Ayton, who sat for the remainder of the game and finished with five points and four rebounds.
After Ayton returned to the bench, he appeared to have a heated confrontation with Williams, per reports.
“This, from what I was told, got really ugly,” Bayless explained. “From what our man Lil Wayne told me…I think he either heard it or could lip-read. Monty got so upset with Ayton that he said, ‘You fricking quit on us.’ And that led to an exchange where each Monty and Ayton had to be restrained from going at each other.”
While speaking with the media after the game, Williams didn’t reveal much about the exchange. Asked why Ayton played only 17 minutes, Monty replied, “It’s internal.”
Ayton, meanwhile, didn’t speak to reporters after Phoenix’s season-ending loss.