Smith had a miserable night in the 107-94 loss to the Celtics, failing to provide the secondary scoring the Cavaliers needed beyond LeBron James and Kevin Love, missing all seven shots with zero points as the Cavaliers' drop 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals.
Horford was grateful for Smart's support, adding: "I felt like it was uncalled for, that type of play".
Needless to say, it was an extremely ill-advised decision by Smith, not to mention a risky play and a selfish play at that. "That's not the first time J.R. has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us".
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With the Cavs down eight and less than four minutes remaining, Smith was called for a blatant flagrant foul on the Celtics' Al Horford. Smart came over to get in Smith's face after the play, leading both to get technical fouls.
As he was in midair, on his way to an alley-oop slam, J.R. Smith shoved Horford in the back, sending him crashing to the ground. "He's known for it, especially playing against us", Smart said, per the Boston Globe. "You can't just allow that to keep happening". Keep letting the bully keep picking on you, and he's going to keep picking on you. "One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it".
"We're out there to play basketball", he said. It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something. It was a good, hard foul.
The flagrant gave Horford two shots and the Celtics the ball back. "But that's the thing about the group of our guys". Smart took to the post-game press conference to make his feelings about Smith abundantly clear.