NEW YORK — The NBA fined Boston guard Marcus Smart $35,000 on Thursday for his treatment of referees – a punishment the league said reflected his history of misconduct on the court.

The league cited Smart for confronting and verbally abusing the game officials at the end of the Celtics’ 129-120 overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.

Smart was called for a foul with 0.2 seconds left in regulation and the Celtics leading by three. Caris LeVert made all three free throws to force overtime, and Smart fouled out on an offensive foul early in overtime.

The league said the amount of the fine “reflects his multiple prior violations of acceptable on-court decorum.”

Smart was fined $15,000 for criticizing officials earlier this season and was penalized three times in 2018-19 for his actions, including a couple altercations.

GORDON HAYWARD of the Celtics will likely sit out Friday’s game against the Utah Jazz, Coach Brad Stevens said in a radio interview.

Hayward suffered a knee contusion against the Nets when Daniel Theis fell backward into his leg. Hayward remained on the court for the rest of the first half, but he was ruled out for the second half after the break. He didn’t travel to Cleveland for Boston’s game on Wednesday evening.

After Tuesday’s game, Hayward told reporters his knee was sore, but added, “I think it will be fine.”

The Celtics were also without Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker in Cleveland. Brown strained his hamstring and is expected to miss at least a week, according to Stevens.


NUGGETS 114, HORNETS 112: Jamal Murray hit a running, off-balance 13-footer from the baseline with 5.1 seconds left, and Denver overcame an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Murray had 18 points, and Nikola Jokic added 14 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Devonte Graham had 24 points and seven assists for the Hornets. P.J. Washington scored 20 points and Terry Rozier had 19. The Hornets had a chance to win, but Rozier’s 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out.

The Hornets led 94-86 with eight minutes left. But the Nuggets battled back to tie it with five minutes remaining. On the tying basket, Will Barton threw an inbounds pass to himself off the back of Charlotte’s Cody Martin and dunked it.

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