By By NBC Sports Boston Report
It was the Cavaliers' J.R. Smith who was whistled for a flagrant foul for his two-handed push of the Celtics' Al Horford as he was airborne on a layup attempt in the fourth quarter of Game 2 Tuesday night.
Yet, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said the Celtics are "gooning the game up."
“We have to be tougher,” Lue said. “I think they’re playing tougher than we are. We’re seeing that. They’re being physical. They’re gooning the game up, and we have to do the same thing. We have to be tougher mentally and physically.”
Smith's shove and Marcus Smart's retaliatory shot in a scuffle with Smith in the immediate aftermath - which led to double-technicals on the two players - are sure to heighten the tensions between the teams as they head for Cleveland for Game 3 Saturday with the Celtics up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Smart called Smith's push "dirty" and said the Celtics and Smith have a history (including a flagrant foul on Smith for a hit on Jae Crowder in the Cavs-C's 2015 playoff series).
"Oh, man, we're out there to play basketball," Smart said postgame. "You know, and I just looked at it: Al is a defenseless person. He's in the air. He can't control how his body goes, and he's not even looking. And you go and take two hands to the back; that's a dirty shot. You just can't allow that to keep...