NBA bans Celtics guard Smart one game for referee threat

In this file photo taken on April 23, 2021, Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics dribbles during the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / 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.