PHILADELPHIA — Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was ejected less than a minute into the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against Philadelphia for a two-handed shove into the back of 76ers star Joel Embiid.
Smart got tangled up with Embiid at the 11:08 mark of the third quarter while trying to steal a pass intended for the All-Star center on the perimeter.
Two seconds later, after Boston inbounded the ball following the stoppage in play, Embiid caught Smart trying to go by him with what appeared to be an elbow into the left rib cage. Smart then fell to the ground, but no call was made.
As Embiid then began to walk away, Smart stood up, took a step and gave Embiid a two-handed shove in his back, with both arms fully extended. That sent Embiid sprawling to the ground in the corner, and he immediately leapt to his feet and tried to rush back at Smart, with officials, coaches, security guards and players from both teams preventing things from escalating further.
After a lengthy review, the officials hit Smart with a flagrant foul 2 — resulting in an immediate ejection. As the call was announced, Smart was cheered off the court by the fans in Philadelphia, and he raised his right hand to the crowd to egg them on as he walked through the tunnel and back to Boston’s locker room.
Embiid, meanwhile, was hit with a technical foul for his role in the play.
The Sixers would go on to win the game 118-115, their first victory over the Celtics this season. Embiid led all scorers with 37 points to go along with 22 rebounds and a game-sealing block.
“I’ve been hearing that these guys can guard me better than anyone else, so I had to come out and show that I’m the most unstoppable player in the league,” Embiid told ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth following the win.
Smart left without speaking to reporters.