Tempers flare between Celtics-Cavaliers after dirty JR Smith foul
16 May, 2018, 11:55 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
On Tuesday night, Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith was given a Flagrant 1 for pushing Boston Celtics big man Al Horford during an alley-oop attempt. Both players were assessed technical fouls, and Smart was dragged away to his bench, still turning and yelling at Smith, who looked relatively impassive. Smith's foul was a textbook example of a Flagrant 2, and the double-tech after was a bit of an insult.
Smith's push was delivered in frustration as the Cavaliers watched a 55-48 halftime advantage disappear, with the incident coming as the Celtics were holding a 12-point lead at 99-89. That's a dirty shot. The flagrant also killed the small amount of momentum the Cavs were trying to muster while down just eight in the fourth quarter, allowing the Celtics to easily finish off the Cavs.
Smart, it seems, hasn't forgotten.
The NBA prides itself on making sure players aren't making unsafe plays toward each other, especially in the playoffs. We know that. So it's like a bully. That's what I tried to do. "One of my guys went down and I took offense to it".
Horford is not known for to be particularly animated, but even he admitted the contact crossed a line.
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Cleveland's starters scored 46 points, shooting 33 percent from the field and going just 3 of 19 from beyond the arc. After all, there's no Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward , with valuable rookie bench center Daniel Theis also gone.
Smith said there was no malicious intent on the play.
"We have each other's backs".
Horford had a much better explanation for the hard-nosed play the Celtics displayed over the final 24 minutes of the game, propelling them to their victory.
"It was a good call", Smith said. This isn't the first time Smith got himself caught in the middle of the Boston's crowd's anger.
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The former UCLA standout did not mince words when giving his assessment, referring to Cleveland's defensive effort as "soft". In order to slow Horford, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is contemplating starting Tristan Thompson for Game 2 on Tuesday night.
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