Marcus Smart will be writing a check to the league for this one.
There was plenty of frustration to go around in the Boston Garden Tuesday night as the Bulls dominated the Celtics on the way to a 2-0 series lead. Fans were booing the Celtics, and Rajon Rondo was overheard saying they quit.
That frustration bubbled over for Smart midway through the fourth quarter, when he missed a three-pointer, then as he backpedaled down the court Smart appears to flip off someone (see the video above). Probably a fan, although it’s impossible to know for sure (although the team benches are on the other side of the court from where he pointed, so who else would it be?). Maybe he will try to argue the gesture was something else, but I know what it looks like to me.
Smart finished with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting in the loss. He was one of the few Celtics that showed some grit and defensive energy in this game. But that moment of frustration is going to cost him 25 large.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.