Marcus Smart calls out JR Smith for 'dirty' play

J.R. Smith’s ‘dirty’ antics makes him perfect Cavaliers’ scapegoat

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.

On the subsequent possession awarded with the flagrant, the fired-up Horford posted up Kevin Love, spun around him and dropped in a reverse layup while drawing a foul (he missed the free throw).

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. Both players were assessed technical fouls, and Smart was dragged away to his bench, still turning and yelling at Smith, who looked relatively impassive.

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Smith said there was no malicious intent on the play. And you go and take two hands to the back; that's a dirty shot. Smith also was called for a flagrant 1 foul for pushing Horford.

"We're out there to play basketball", Smart said. "I blatantly pushed him".

"That's not the first time JR has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us", Smart added.

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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.

"The hardest part is when you can't score and they keep scoring", he said. "I understand why they gave me a flag there".

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. When asked about the altercation, Smart told reporters he was just trying to stick up for a teammate.

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