The Boston Celtics found themselves facing some adversity in their game against the Atlanta Hawks, but they were able to regroup and close out a 134-125 win on Saturday. The game was largely in control of the Celtics, who held the lead from the middle of the second quarter all the way through to the final buzzer. However, there were still some dramatics late in the game that caused some tension.
With just 1:25 left in the game, Celtics’ guard Marcus Smart took exception to something Hawks’ star Trae Young did when Smart fouled him. The two went face-to-face before taking each other down to the ground. Following a review, the officiating crew ejected Smart and assessed Young with a technical foul.
here are some key highlights from the article
|Celtics defeated Hawks 134-125 on Saturday|
|Marcus Smart was ejected with 1:25 remaining in the game|
|Smart took exception to something Trae Young did|
|Young only received a technical foul|
|Al Horford blocked John Collins’s shot with 39 seconds left|
|Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said the team navigated the chaos well|
|Smart didn’t speak to reporters after the game|
|Smart’s ejection followed his comments about officiating|
|Young mentioned Fred VanVleet when asked how he kept his composure|
The crew chief for the game, Sean Wright, explained that Smart was ejected “for the grab and take down,” adding that Smart slammed him to the ground. Wright said that Young only received a technical foul because his actions “did not rise to the level of an ejection” but he received a technical foul for “getting up and pointing in Marcus Smart’s face.”
Following Smart’s ejection, Young made two free throws to cut the Celtics’ lead to 129-123. Boston couldn’t score on its next trip down the court and allowed Atlanta to grab a couple of offensive rebounds. However, Al Horford put an end to the Hawks’ comeback bid, when he blocked John Collins’s shot with 39 seconds left, leading to an easy two points in transition for the Celtics to go up 131-123.
Horford explained what he saw during the play Smart got ejected on and how the Celtics worked through it. He said that all they could do was try to do damage control and split them up the best they could. The team had to regroup and move on, and they did that well.
Jayson Tatum also credited the Celtics’ mentality to move past Smart’s ejection and pull out the road win. The team was aware of the moment and was focused on finishing the game. They were able to get key stops, and Horford’s block was a turning point that helped them secure the victory.
Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla summed up the team’s performance well when he said, “It’s part of it. You have to navigate in the chaos.”
Smart didn’t speak to reporters following the game, and it’s yet to be seen if he’ll receive any further discipline from the league. Smart’s ejection on Saturday came two days after he co-signed Raptors guard Fred VanVleet’s profane-laden rant about the league’s officiating. Smart’s foul trouble issues have been a topic of discussion lately, and he has expressed his frustration with the way the game is being officiated.
Despite the drama, the Celtics were able to pull off a win on the road. They showed resilience and an ability to regroup under pressure. It’s a positive sign for the team as they move forward in the season, and it will be interesting to see how they continue to handle challenges in the future.