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etvfutures.com May 24, 2018


JR Smith Shoves Al Horford Mid-Air, Marcus Smarts Retaliates

16 May 2018, 07:38 | Sandy Nunez

Brad Stevens: Al Horford Is Our Rock

Celtics' Jayson Tatum attempts a shot over Cleveland Cavaliers' Le Bron James Kevin Love and George Hill in the third quarter during Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden in Boston on Sunday

Nearly immediately, Celtics guard Marcus Smart came to Horford's defense. In the 2015 playoffs, Smith tried to get away with a punch to the face of Celtics forward Jae Crowder.

Fortunately, Horford wasn't hurt and will be available for Saturday's Game 3.

Smith was given a flagrant foul one and he and Smart were both issued technicals. Most notably, Russell was impressed with how Smart defended Al Horford, who went crashing to the floor after a dirty two-handed shove from Cavs no-show J.R. Smith.

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Even though Boston has taken a 2-0 series lead against the Cavs it doesn't mean there isn't plenty of drama left in this series. He looked quite miffed as the officials watched replays before ultimately determining that Smith would be assessed a Flagrant 1. It was, without question, a dirty play, one which prompted Celtics guard Marcus Smart to rush over and let Smith know that such moves would not be appreciated. It's not the first time J.R.'s done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us. Smith pushed Horford in the back with two hands as the big man was jumping towards the basket.

"The hardest part is when you can't score and they keep scoring", he said. "We know that. It's like a bully; you keep letting a bully pick on you, he's going to keep picking on you until you stand up". "That's not why I'm here", Smith said, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

In the conference semifinals, the 32-year-old revived himself and looked like a secondary star by contributing at least 15 points in three of the Cavaliers' wins in their four-game sweep against the top-seeded Raptors, including shooting a torrid 10-of-13 from three. "Just make sure he didn't get it", Smith said. When asked about the altercation, Smart told reporters he was just trying to stick up for a teammate.



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