NBA fines Smart $15,000 for comments about foul on Giannis

Milwaukee Bucks' George Hill, left, and Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart shake hands following an NBA basketball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

NEW YORK (AP) — 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 three-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’ 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.”

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