With 3:57 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Jazz up 86-75, Lyles used a jab step to try to create separation from Frye, who was guarding him closely near the top of the key. Lyle's right elbow made contact between Frye's legs, and the Cavs big man immediately confronted Lyles and got in his face, twice going forehead-to-forehead with the Jazz rookie.
Eventually Utah's Joe Ingles tried to come between the two, and Frye appeared to throw a punch that did not connect with anyone as he was being pushed away.
After a lengthy review by the officials, Lyles was called for a flagrant foul 2, resulting in an automatic ejection. Frye was called for a technical foul, his second of the game, and consequently ejected.
"I don't think it was intentional at all, what he did or what I did," Lyles said. "But it's how the game goes. We get into it, and tempers flare here and there. It's nothing too big."
Frye left the locker room without speaking to reporters. However, LeBron James praised Cleveland's recent acquisition for the emotion he showed.
"I loved it," James said. "First of all, his first T, I didn't think it was warranted. I told the ref that. I mean, this guy, he probably has a handful of T's in his whole career, just voiced his opinion. Just said it was a goaltend, didn't disrespect the ref at all, so that allowed him to get kicked out after that first T.
"But he's a vet, he's not going to let [that happen], and not against Trey, but anybody. It's nothing personal against Trey; it's the game and being able to stick up for himself. But I love that side."
Frye, a 10-year veteran, now has 26 technical fouls for his career.
"I mean, we're all men out there," Kyrie Irving said. "That's just a rook going at Channing, and they got into it. It's part of the game. Competitive juices going. That's about it."
Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters after the game that he had not seen the replay but said he did not think it was an intentional cheap shot by Lyles.
"Those things sometimes happen," Snyder said. "We get pressured a lot at the elbows, and guys try to pivot and get free. I don't know if he hit him. It sounds like he hit him. I don't feel like it was intentional. Obviously you understand Channing Frye's reaction."
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Frye "reacted like anyone else would, I guess," forgiving Frye for the ejection, and instead aimed his ire at the review that delayed the game for nearly 10 minutes.
"I mean, just call what you're going to call and let's just move on," Lue said. "I mean, you see it. How many times do you got to watch it?"
Lyles scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter prior to the ejection, but the Cavs were not able to capitalize on his absence in the game's final minutes, never cutting the deficit smaller than seven after the altercation.
The loss marred what would have been a perfect four-game road trip for the Cavs, sending them back to Cleveland with a 3-1 record.
"You got to stand your own ground," Lyles said. "Lucky for us we were able to go out there and get the win. That's all that matters."