NBA bans Celtics guard Smart one game for referee threat

New York (AFP) –


Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was suspended one game without pay by the NBA on Wednesday for using threatening language to a referee in a Tuesday loss to Oklahoma City.

The incidents came during and after the visiting Thunder defeated Boston 119-115, snapping a 14-game losing streak for Oklahoma City.

Smart went 4-of-17 from the floor in scoring 14 points and was whistled for a technical foul in the loss.

Smart's ban will keep him from the Celtics home game Wednesday against the Charlotte Hornets.

The 27-year-old guard is in his seventh NBA season, all with the Celtics. He is averaging 13.6 points, 5.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals a game over 42 appearances for Boston this season.

At 32-30, the Celtics are sixth in the Eastern Conference, only ahead of Miami on tiebreakers for the final playoff berth. Teams seven through 10th in the East will be involved in a play-in tournament for the last two post-season berths.

The Hornets sit eighth on 30-31.