There usually is no love lost whenever the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers match up
Things got heated again on Wednesday, when Marcus Smart and Joel Embiid got into it less than one minute into the second half of the Celtics’ 118-113 loss.
Smart took a tumble in the paint after running into a pick set by Embiid, colliding with his outstretched elbow. The Celtics guard took exception to the play, and shoved Embiid to the ground in response, and sparks went flying between the two teams.
Smart received a flagrant 2 for the push and was ejected from the game. Embiid, however, received a technical foul and was allowed to remain in the game.
Embiid expressed his frustrations about the incident after the game.
“Obviously I was frustrated because it was a cheap shot,” he said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics postgame coverage. “I didn’t see it coming. It caught me off guard.”
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens also shared his thoughts about the incident after the game as well, saying he was “disappointed” with Smart’s actions. With Aron Baynes leaving the game early due to a Grade 2 sprained ankle, Stevens said the team could have used Smart’s talents to help close out the game.
“We need him to be in the game no matter what happened,” Stevens said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics postgame coverage. “A time or two a year (his temper) gets the best of him, but this is just a reminder of how important he is (to the team).”
Smart’s defensive abilities were sorely missed down the stretch, and Embiid went on to have a massive night, finishing with 37 points, and further solidifying the Sixers’ claim to third place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images