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Celtics’ Brad Stevens ‘disappointed’ in Marcus Smart for ejection

Marcus Smart, Brad Stevens, Celtics

The best game of the night for this evening’s slate of NBA action was a marquee matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics. These two bitter rivals always tend to compete in games that come down to the wire, and this one was no exception.

While the on-court action was scintillating from an “X’s and O’s” perspective, perhaps the most notable occurrence on the court was a bit of extracurricular activity.

After a brutal ball screen from Joel Embiid, Celtics defensive menace Marcus Smart was leveled and dropped to the floor. Smart, who is usually the one instigating such moves, was not pleased with getting hammered by Embiid. He popped up and immediately shoved Embiid hard from behind – causing him to fall over.

Smart was summarily ejected, and from there, the Sixers turned the game around.

In the first half on the back of some hot shooting, the Celtics staked themselves out to a comfortable 15-point lead. However, but when Marcus Smart was ejected, it seemed to flip a switch among the Sixers, who responded with a vengeance.

Though Joel Embiid was dominant (37 points, 22 rebounds, 4 assists), it was Jimmy Butler who carried the team down the stretch and ended up hitting the biggest shot of the night: a two-point jumper with 4.7 seconds left.

After the game, Celtics coach Brad Stevens discussed Smart’s ejection and said he was disappointed that their defensive anchor allowed himself to get thrown out when the team needed him most.

Certainly, Smart is the team’s heart, soul and “fire,” as Stevens termed it. But sometimes, fire can burn you, which is exactly what happened to the Celtics tonight.