The Celtics blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night against the Nets, losing 129-120 in overtime as Caris LeVert dropped 51 points. It was likely the team’s worst loss of the season, but no one took it worse than Marcus Smart.
At the end of the game, the sixth-year guard was caught on camera in a heated exchange with the officials. He started pointing and shouting at John Goble, one of the officials, then had to be physically escorted off the court by two coaches as he continued his tirade.
Smart fouled out of the game in overtime and exchanged words with Goble as he walked to the sidelines. He was also visibly upset when Rodions Kurucs won a jump ball in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter to give the Nets the ball down three points, believing Kurucs committed a foul. Smart then fouled LeVert after the inbounds pass, and he sunk all three free throws to force overtime.
The Celtics have a back-to-back and play again in Cleveland on Wednesday. If Smart faces disciplinary action or a suspension, it will add to a growing list of Celtics unavailable for the game.
Jayson Tatum, who just won Eastern Conference Player of the Month, missed Tuesday’s game with an illness. Gordon Hayward exited after the first half with a knee contusion, and Jaylen Brown injured his hamstring. Kemba Walker returned from a knee injury Tuesday, but faced a minutes restriction and will not travel to Cleveland.
It helps that they are playing the bottom-feeding Cavaliers (17-44), but Wednesday could be a perfect storm for the Celtics.