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Celtics’ Marcus Smart fined for criticism of referees

Marcus Smart shakes hands with the Bucks' George Hill after Friday's game in Orlando, Fla.Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Marcus Smart was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Saturday for criticizing referees after the Boston Celtics guard claimed the officials changed a call Friday night to keep Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo from fouling out.

Antetokounmpo appeared to have picked up a sixth foul after he was called for charging when he crashed into Smart with 1:28 left. However, referees changed the call to a blocking foul after video replay, and Antetokounmpo converted a tiebreaking 3-point play that helped Milwaukee pull out a 119-112 victory.

Smart said afterward the explanation from referees for changing the call was that he was too late, but he felt there was another reason.


“Quite frankly, I think we know all what that was all about. Giannis’s sixth foul and they didn’t want to get him out,” Smart said. “Let’s just call that spade a spade and that’s just what it is.”

Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 36 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists. Smart led Boston with 23 points.

It was the first fine handed out by the league since the restart began last week.