Tempers flare between Celtics-Cavaliers after dirty JR Smith foul

Bill Russell

With the Cavaliers hanging in down eight points with four minutes left, Smith shoved a defenseless Al Horford in the back as the Celtics big tried completing an alley-oop. "You can't just allow that to keep happening".

The Game 2 loss means the Cavaliers will head back to Cleveland trailing 2-0 in the series. This is not the first time JR's done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us. He looked quite miffed as the officials watched replays before ultimately determining that Smith would be assessed a Flagrant 1. "I blatantly pushed him", Smith said. Smith missed his final 3-pointer with Marcus Smart pestering him closely, and his shove as Horford jumped under the rim came immediately after that.

"We were awful defensively", said Thompson, who was moved into the starting lineup as coach Tyronn Lue's most obvious game-to-game adjustment but contributed only two rebounds and four points after halftime. We know he can make shots, but just communication defensive-wise."Smith explained: "We were slow on our coverages".

If the Cavaliers' are looking for a scapegoat after burying themselves against the Celtics, they have an easy option in J.R. Smith. Keep letting the bully keep picking on you, and he's going to keep picking on you. And you go and take two hands to the back; that's a dirty shot.

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Smith said there was no malicious intent on the play. "One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it".

The Garden crowd naturally responded with a profane chant directed at Smith, but the Cavs guard said he didn't mind the jeers; in fact, he apparently enjoyed them.

"It was a good, hard foul - I can understand why it was given".

Even after the game, which the Celtics won 107-94, Smart remained less amused by the whole ordeal.

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