Backcourt blues: Cavs guards Smith, Hill awful in Game 2

Backcourt blues: Cavs guards Smith, Hill awful in Game 2

The Celtics beat the Cavaliers 107-94 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, but the big moment of the fourth quarter came from Clevaland's J.R. Smith.

After the shove, Boston's Marcus Smart got in Smith's face, prompting Smith to push the Celtics guard away and leading to technical fouls being called on both players. Smart called Smith "dirty" and said he's known as that kind of player. We know he can make shots, but just communication defensive-wise."Smith explained: "We were slow on our coverages".

Smart defended his reaction during the post-game press conference, telling reporters that it wasn't the first time that JR has "done some dirty stuff, especially against us". "One of my guys was down and I took offence to it". "I can understand why they gave me a flagrant".

Thanks to the NBA's odd scheduling, Game 3 is not until Saturday, giving Cavs coach Tyronn Lue plenty of time to consider tweaks to his starting lineup and rotations. It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something.

James began his takeover bid with 5:14 to go, converting a three-point play that cut the Celts lead to 95-87.

"That's a dirty shot", Smart said.

Opinions on the NBA's decision aside, it can't be overstated that Smith failed to score a point in Game 2.

He put his fingerprints all over the game with 11 points, five rebounds, nine assists and four steals.

He made another basket, on top of drawing the and-one, as he put the Celtics up 101-89 with 3:37 to play. "That's not why I'm here", Smith said, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin. Hard fouls. Everything you could ever want in playoff basketball!

What did matter to Thompson was how Cleveland responded to Boston's physicality overall. "They're aggressive, and we've got to match that". "They're gooning the game up and we've got to do the same thing".