JR Smith on Flagrant Foul on Al Horford: 'I Blatantly Pushed Him'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2018

BOSTON, MA - MAY 15:  JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts in the second half against the Boston Celtics during Game Two of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 15, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith agreed Wednesday with the flagrant-1 foul he was assessed for pushing Boston Celtics big man Al Horford late in Cleveland's 107-94 loss to Boston in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday.

As seen in the following video (beginning at the 18-second mark), Smith had no issue with the call:

"It was a good call," Smith said. "I blatantly pushed him. It wasn't like I was trying to low-bridge him or something. I just wanted to make sure he didn't get it."

The incident occurred in the closing minutes of Tuesday's contest when Smith shoved Horford in midair while he was attempting a wide-open shot at the rim.

A skirmish ensued after the play when Celtics guard Marcus Smart got in Smith's face.

After the game, Smart commented on Smith and what he perceived to be a dirty play, per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin:

"That's not the first time JR has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us. He's known for it, especially playing against us. We know that. So, you know, it's like a bully: You keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's going to pick on you until you finally stand up, and that's what I tried to do. One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it."

The play may have been a result of frustration boiling over for Smith.

He was arguably the worst player on the floor for Cleveland in Game 2, as he missed all seven of his field-goal attempts and finished with zero points in 27 minutes.

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