Report: NBA won't suspend J.R. Smith for shoving Al Horford in the back

The NBA won’t suspend J.R. Smith for shoving Al Horford in the back in the closing minutes of the Boston Celtics’ Game 2 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, ESPN reports.

The play came with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Horford had a clear path to basket and a lob pass from Marcus Smart when Smith shoved him in the back mid-air, sending him tumbling out of bounds.

J.R. Smith reportedly escaped further discipline after shoving Al Horford in the back during Boston’s Game 2 win over Cleveland on Tuesday. (AP)
J.R. Smith reportedly escaped further discipline after shoving Al Horford in the back during Boston’s Game 2 win over Cleveland on Tuesday. (AP)

Smart immediately confronted Smith before officials and teammates intervened. Officials reviewed the play and assessed Smith with a flagrant 1 foul. Some fans and media thought the play warranted a flagrant 2 designation and an ejection due to the vulnerable position Horford was in when Smith shoved him, and there was speculation the league would revisit the play and suspend Smith for Game 3.

That is apparently not the case.

Game 3 will take place on Saturday with the series moving to Cleveland and Boston holding a 2-0 lead.

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