Marcus Smart is ejected after TACKLING Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young to the ground with the pair having to be separated during the Celtics’ 134-125 win on Saturday night
Things got out of hand between Celtics guard Marcus Smart and Hawks guard Trae Young in the final minutes of Saturday night’s game, when their fight underneath the basket ended in Smart taking down Young to ground with him and being ejected.
With 1.25 remaining in the fourth quarter and Boston leading 129-121, Young and Smart had to be separated after the two were entangled and fell to the court under the Celtics’ basket.
Smart was called for an initial foul before a lengthy review by the officials called both players for technical fouls and ejected Smart.
‘I just saw them both kind of go down, definitely chirping at each other going down,’ Celtics center Al Horford said. ‘We were all in there trying to do damage control.’
The officials’ crew chief, Sean Wright, told a pool reporter Smart was ejected ‘for the grab and takedown of Trae Young.’ Wright said Young drew the technical foul ‘for getting up and pointing in Marcus Smart’s face.’
Celtics guard Marcus Smart gets in the face of Hawks’ guard Trae Young in the fourth quarter
Teammates on both teams tried to breakup the fight before Smart and Young were ejected
Young said he had ‘nothing much to say’ about the skirmish. He made two free throws to cut the deficit to six points.
‘This is a competitive game,’ Hawks head coach Quin Snyder told reporters after the game. ‘Guys mix it up, and I thought our security guys did a good job keeping everything in line.’
The Celtics, who had only nine turnovers with 35 assists, had an answer for every Hawks challenge. Boston made 20-of-42 three’s while Atlanta made only 10-of-34.
Boston led by 16 at 60-44, but the Hawks rallied in the final period. Clint Capela’s tip-in cut Boston’s lead to 108-103 with 8:06 remaining. Boston still led by only five points before Smart’s three-pointer stretched the advantage to 117-109.
Young’s three-pointer again pulled Atlanta within 119-114 before Horford answered with a three for Boston and Tatum’s layup extended the advantage to 10 points.
‘I feel like in the last couple of games we’ve been very conscious of taking advantage of our possessions,’ Horford said. ‘We had some adversity there but as a group […] we have to keep moving and we did that.’
Prior to Saturday’s game, Quin Snyder stressed defense, including against three-pointers, since he was named Atlanta’s coach on February 26.
‘If a team is going to make 20 3s in a game, it is tough to beat them,’ Snyder said. ‘[…] It is something we continue to talk about and continue to work on and it is the end result of not staying in front of the ball.’
The Hawks ended up losing by nine (134-125) at home to the Celtics. Smart registered 11 points