Tempers flare between Celtics-Cavaliers after dirty JR Smith foul

Annette Crawford
May 16, 2018

Those frustrations boiled over during one sequence that saw J.R. Smith shove Al Horford, much to the chagrin of Marcus Smart.

During the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, Smith pushed Horford from behind to prevent an easy basket. In the wake of the push, Smith was almost attacked by the Celtics' Marcus Smart, leading to technical fouls being assessed to both players.

It seemed like Smith was heading for a flagrant two for a unsafe act that could have injured Horford, but instead, all he got was a flagrant one.

After the game, Smart said Smith's play was a "dirty shot" and added that it wasn't the first time Smith has done something like that.


We here at The Loop/Golf Digest love J.R. Smith. "We moved on to the next play and we locked in after that". You keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's gonna keep picking on you until you finally stand up. "One of my guys was down and I took offence to it". "He's not even looking, and you go and take two hands to the back, that's a dirty shot". "I just wanted to make sure he didn't get it". In fairness to Smart, the replay showed he had every right to be upset. "But that's the thing about the group of our guys".

On the play against Horford, Smith couldn't deny what he did. More importantly, he was involved in a controversial play late.

"It was a good call", Smith said of the Flagrant 1. "I blatantly pushed him", he said. It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something.

"It was a good call", Smith said after the game, in which he finished with zero points on 0-for-7 shooting. Hard fouls. Everything you could ever want in playoff basketball!

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