NBA: Celtics G Marcus Smart suspended for threatening an official

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The NBA suspended Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart one game "for directing threatening language toward a game official."

The ban will take place for Boston's game against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night. 

According to the NBA, the "incidents took place during and after" Boston's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. Smart was whistled for a technical foul with 7:48 remaining in that game. He was not ejected. 

What Smart said to garner the technical foul and after the game is unclear. 

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart handles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Friday, April 23, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Marcus Smart threatened an official, according to the NBA. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Celtics score key victory with starting backcourt sidelined

News of Smart's suspension arrived less than two hours prior to Boston's tipoff against Charlotte. Head coach Brad Stevens told reporters that the Celtics would employ a point guard by committee approach with Kemba Walker sidelined by an oblique strain.

The Celtics scored a 120-111 victory despite Smart and Walker being sidelined.

It was a key victory in the Eastern Conference playoff race as Boston looks to avoid relegation to the play-in games with nine games remaining in the regular season. With the win, the Celtics remained tied for sixth place with the Miami Heat at 33-30. The sixth-place team will secure its postseason berth while teams that finish seven through 10 will play for the final two playoff spots in each conference. 

The Hornets dropped to 30-32 to remain in eighth place but fell to 2.5 games behind the Celtics and Heat. 

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