Celtics vs. Sixers: Marcus Smart ejected after shoving Joel Embiid, as rivalry between teams continues to grow

The rivalry between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers resumed in old-school fashion on Wednesday night. 

Just a minute into the third quarter of Philadelphia's 118-115 win over Boston, Celtics guard Marcus Smart was ejected for shoving Sixers center Joel Embiid to the ground, prompting a brief confrontation before cooler heads prevailed. 

As the Sixers tried to inbound the ball, Smart was guarding JJ Redick, who ran off a screen from Embiid. As Smart tried to fight through the screen, he was knocked to the ground by what looked like a little chicken-wing elbow to the midsection from Embiid. Smart obviously didn't appreciate that, and immediately shoved Embiid in the back once he got to his feet.

The Sixers big man went flying into the corner, then jumped up and tried to go back at Smart before being held back by officials and teammates.

After a brief review, Smart was understandably given a flagrant-two foul and ejected from the game, while Embiid received a technical foul. Embiid clearly gave Smart a little bump, but you can't retaliate in that way, and Smart could lose some money in addition to his ejection.

Though you don't want to see scraps like this, it's not all that surprising given the history between these two groups. This version of the Celtics has dominated the Sixers in recent seasons, including a 4-1 series win in the second round of last year's playoffs. Philly understandably had plenty of motivation going into this game, and both sides brought playoff intensity.

Plus, there's been a little bit of bad blood between the two teams off the court as well. Just this week, Terry Rozier was asked what word came to his head when Embiid is mentioned, and his response was, "Lame." 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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