Washington: LeBron James is gone, but the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics still have an intense NBA rivalry that spilled over into a scuffle in a pre-season game.
Cleveland guard JR Smith and Celtics guard Marcus Smart were involved in an altercation 8min 22sec into the first quarter of the Cavaliers' 113-102 pre-season home victory over Boston.
The rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals lacked some of the drama of May's showdown between the clubs, which featured James before the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player left the Cavs for the Los Angeles Lakers.
But it wasn't lacking for passion after Smith and Australian forward Aron Baynes of the Celtics tangled in the paint and began shoving each other. That prompted Smart to join in and shove Smith, with both men needing to be restrained to calm matters.
Put JR Smith and Marcus Smart on the Conor-Khabib undercard pic.twitter.com/eMTOPAeqaw
— Athlete Vidz (@Athlete_Vidz) October 7, 2018
Smart was ejected and Smith issued a technical foul. More punishment could be coming from the league.
"I'm not too worried about it," Smart said. "Whatever consequences come with it, come with it."
Smart also said he gestured for Smith to "meet him in the back" to which Smith replied on Twitter: "Meet me on street damn the back!!"
The teams will have some time to cool off before they meet again. That will come in a regular-season contest at Boston on November 30.
The Cavaliers open the season 17 October at Toronto while the Celtics open on 16 October at home against Philadelphia.
Updated Date: Oct 07, 2018 18:46:25 IST