Well, that took a turn, perhaps one we should have seen coming. Shortly after Sen. Ted Cruz responded Tuesday to a Deadspin tweet by making light of his uncanny resemblance to Grayson Allen, the website shot back in terse — and highly vulgar — fashion.

Deadspin had noted a Politico story from the day before about how, with Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Cruz is trying to “reinvent his role in Washington.” Part of that effort is a “weekly basketball game” that the former presidential candidate has started in a Senate office building, with Politico reporting that “Cruz is said to be a surprisingly good jump-shooter with miserable form.”

That prompted Deadspin to issue a call to its Twitter followers, asking for “proof of Ted Cruz playing basketball.” Cruz himself (or, more likely, someone running his verified account) replied to that tweet, humorously posting a photo of the Duke star.

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Pretty funny! Well, funny to most, but not Deadspin, apparently, which used the dialogue to send quite an unfriendly message to the 46-year-old Texas senator.

If that tweet has you thinking of Will Ferrell’s famous line from “Anchorman” — “Boy, that escalated quickly” — you’re not alone. Cruz’s account tweeted out a GIF of that remark in response to Deadspin, one that apparently stood as the final word in the brief Twitter battle.

Deadspin’s vulgar response, particularly following a joke from Cruz, not renowned for his sense of humor, had many Internet observers proclaiming the exchange a clear win for the senator. The profane tweet, though, was reminiscent, and likely intentionally so, of a similar response to Trump in 2013.

At that time, the businessman, then known for questioning Barack Obama’s birth certificate and expressing conservative views, had tweeted out congratulations to Deadspin for its story on then-Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s fake (and thus not really dead) girlfriend. The website responded by dropping an F-bomb on Trump.

That profane blast earned these Twitter responses from Trump, one of which could seem ominous, to some, in retrospect.

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With Trump’s subsequent, highly polarizing rise to the presidency, that Deadspin tweet became etched in Internet lore, to the point where the website published an oral history of the episode last year. So on Tuesday, Deadspin could have been paying an homage of sorts to that tweet with a similar one directed at another prominent conservative figure, but the website may have to hope that its treatment of Cruz is looked upon as more of a win years from now than at the moment.

Meanwhile, Cruz’s initial tweet represented confirmation that the senator finally agrees with what everyone else has been thinking since Allen burst onto the college basketball scene in 2014. Cruz had previously played down the resemblance, saying during last year’s NCAA tournament that he “didn’t have nearly the hops” of Allen (not that their respective athleticism served as the basis of the comparison).

“The only way I see the rim is standing on a ladder,” Cruz added, a noteworthy comment, given the ribbing he took a month later for sounding to many like he said “basketball ring” at an Indiana campaign stop. That campaign, of course, turned out unsuccessfully for the senator, but he can chalk up an Internet victory this week.

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