Al Horford plays large role in Celtics' Game 1 win over Cavaliers

Al Horford plays large role in Celtics' Game 1 win over Cavaliers

Nearly immediately, Celtics guard Marcus Smart came to Horford's defense. Horford went crashing to the ground but was OK. Smith shoved Morris and the pair had to be separated. When it was all over the Celtics were calling him "dirty."It was Smith's biggest TD Garden meltdown since Game 4 of the Cavs' 2015 sweep, when Smith took a swing at Jae Crowder and cracked him in the jaw, earning a suspension.Let's start with the basketball".

Al Horford had 20 points, four rebounds, six assists and two blocks in the Celtics' 108-83 Game 1 win over the Cavaliers. 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. It was a unsafe play and Marcus Smart went over in anger to Smith as he defended his teammate who was put at risk. That's a dirty shot. The flagrant also killed the small amount of momentum the Cavs were trying to muster while down just eight in the fourth quarter, allowing the Celtics to easily finish off the Cavs. "I thought we all played well but I thought Al was certainly very good". Smart received a technical foul for his actions. Shocking since he had a front-row seat for his Smith's, shall we say, "goonish" antics. He told reporters after the game the referees made the correct call on the floor.

The Celtics didn't score on the possession, but it exemplified the effort that Boston put in while rallying out of a double-digit first-half hole and keeping the Cavaliers at arm's length in the final frame.

He got into Smith's face - not the first time that the Cavaliers and Celtics butted heads in the game - and kept the arena charged with an energy that seemed to buoy the team late in the fourth quarter, making the game all but unwinnable.