Marcus Smart oversleeps; Jae Crowder starts for Celtics in Game 4

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart sat out the first quarter Sunday as punishment for being late to shootaround before Game 4 of an Eastern Conference first-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Smart, the No. 6 pick in last June's draft, checked in to start the second quarter and registered 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting with 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in 21 minutes during Boston's season-ending 101-93 loss to the Cavaliers at TD Garden.

The Celtics shuffled their lineup for Game 4 by moving Jae Crowder into the starting lineup and Smart to the bench.

Crowder suffered a left knee sprain in the third quarter Sunday when he fell to the floor after being hit in the face by J.R. Smith, who was called for a flagrant foul 2 and ejected.

The Celtics had decided to alter the starting lineup on Saturday when they practiced with Crowder in a starter's role, but the change might have occurred anyhow because Smart was tardy to the team's shootaround on Sunday morning after he overslept.

Smart said he was about 15 minutes late to Sunday's shootaround. He said he went to bed at a normal hour on Saturday night but suggested his alarm clock did not go off on Sunday morning.

"Coach is doing what he has to do," he said before Game 4. "It's not acceptable, especially when you've got everybody here. ... I think Coach just made the right decision and it was my fault. I went and apologized to the team, the coach and the coaching staff about it. I'll take the consequences of it."

When revealing Smart's tardiness, Stevens added, "Marcus may not play early with [the second unit]. I don't know what we're going to do. Marcus was, and I told him I'd share this with you, Marcus was late for shootaround because he overslept. We've been there before and, as I told Marcus, I'm not worried about him at all. This is not a big Marcus thing. And Jae Crowder would have started anyways."

Smart said Stevens told him Saturday he'd be moving to a reserve role.

"I talked to Brad [Saturday] before practice and he told me that Jae was going to start for matchup reasons, which is understandable," he said. "We're trying to win the game and Jae's our best defender onLeBron [James], so we gotta go with that because we've got guys that can score the ball, we just need somebody who can help us on defense. Jae's a factor on the defensive end; [Stevens] made the right decision in starting Jae, and it'll get that second group going, more energy with me coming off the bench, with Isaiah [Thomas] and those other guys coming off the bench. We just have to keep it up."

During the regular season, Jared Sullinger was tardy for two shootarounds. Each time he was removed from the starting lineup. The second time, he sat out the entire first quarter.

Sullinger played Sunday despite bruising his tailbone after hitting the ground hard trying to foul Kevin Love in the first quarter of Game 3. Sullinger did not practice on Saturday, but felt good enough after a pregame workout Sunday that he deemed himself fit to play.

Sullinger registered team-highs with 21 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes of action in Game 4.

Sullinger said of the injury: "I went up, tried to wrap up [Kevin] Love, and I slipped and fell on my backside. Luckily, I have a big enough [backside] to the point where it didn't hurt that bad. I didn't have an Isaiah-type of [tailbone] injury. I was able to bounce back in two days."

Thomas missed eight games in March due to a bruised backside.