In the 2nd half, Al Horford went up to catch an alley-oop when J.R. Smith inexplicably pushed him mid-flight, causing him to tumble to the ground.
Fortunately, Horford wasn't hurt and will be available for Saturday's Game 3. Ultimately, both Smart and Smith were given technicals with the latter also assessed a Flagrant 1 foul.
Russell congratulated Smart and the Celtics with a series of post-game tweets after the win. The player he often guarded, Jaylen Brown, led the Celtics with 23 points.There were myriad miscommunications on defense that led to wide-open Boston 3s. "He's not even looking, and you go and take two hands to the back, that's a dirty shot". When it was all over the Celtics were calling him "dirty."It was Smith's biggest TD Garden meltdown since Game 4 of the Cavs' 2015 sweep, when Smith took a swing at Jae Crowder and cracked him in the jaw, earning a suspension.Let's start with the basketball". This is not the first time JR's done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us.
Horford said that Smith's foul was "uncalled for", but added "that's the one thing about the group of our guys, we have each other's backs". You keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's gonna keep picking on you until you finally stand up.
On the play against Horford, Smith couldn't deny what he did.
"It was a good, hard foul - I can understand why it was given". When asked about the altercation, Smart told reporters he was just trying to stick up for a teammate. "Just make sure he didn't get it", Smith said.
And now the three-time Eastern Conference champions are down 0-2, desperate for some homecourt love back in Cleveland but searching for answers too.