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Marcus Smart steps over Trae Young at end of Boston win, technicals follow

Trae Young is the leading All-Star vote-getter among Eastern Conference guards. Boston’s Marcus Smart took that as a personal challenge and was in Young’s face much of the night, and while Young had 28 points it was on 9-of-23 shooting (5-of-14 from three).

Then at the end of the game, things got personal. Boston center Daniel Theis blocked Young’s attempted game-winning three with just seconds left, Smart grabbed the loose ball, then steps over a sprawled out Young.

Young got called for a foul on that. Atlanta’s Alex Len jumped in to defend his teammate, Smart pushed Len, and ultimately a double-technical was handed out to Smart and Len. After the game, Smart told Chris Fosberg of NBC Sports Boston he stepped over Young because he had nowhere else to go (the video does not support that).

“I was going to go around him but where to? If I go to the right, I’m out of bounds. I didn’t see anybody to my left, I didn’t want to go that way,” said Smart. “The game was still going. I made a play. I was going forward. He stuck his hand out and tried to trip me, caught the foul, and then Alex Len got up on me.”

Both Young and Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce took the I don’t want to get fined by the league “I’m not sure what happened” road postgame.

Smart had been making big plays all night, including a late three that put Boston up by four in the final minute, a play where he yelled at the Hawks bench about leaving him open.

Smart finished the night with 15 points and nine assists.