Celtics guard Marcus Smart immediately accosted Smith, who was called for a flagrant 1 foul on the play, and the Garden faithful loudly voiced its displeasure, chanting "F- you, J.R." as officials reviewed the play.
Smith had an absolutely brutal game - zero points on 0-for-7 shooting in 27 minutes in what ended up being a loss to knock the Cavs down 0-2 in the series. "You just can't allow that to keep happening", said Smart. "We moved on to the next play and we locked in after that".
Horford was grateful for Smart's support, adding: "I felt like it was uncalled for, that type of play". "He's in the air". He can't control how his body goes, and he's not even looking.
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Horford was not injured, and Smith was assessed a flagrant foul penalty one, although many people fully expected him to be ejected from the game due to the risky nature of his foul.
Smith, for his part, said it was the right call to give him a flagrant. "One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it". Smith was involved, though he was not alone in those missed assignments."A few miscommunications", coach Tyronn Lue said. "You've got to stand up and that's what I tried to do". By doing so, it would have nipped this issue in the bud while simultaneously making it clear that protecting players is more important than protecting a team's ability to compete. "It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something, just trying to make sure he didn't get it in". Hard fouls. Everything you could ever want in playoff basketball!