NHL demands Bruins star Brad Marchand stop licking players

The National Hockey League would prefer if Boston Bruins star Brad Marchand refrained from licking, nuzzling or cuddling his opponents.

In Game 1 of the Bruins’ first-round series victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Marchand made highlight reels when he appeared to lick the face of Leafs forward Leo Komarov. Or at the very least, nuzzled him.

It wasn’t the first showing of affection Marchand had bestowed upon Komarov, having delivered a kiss to his cheek earlier in the season.

The Jazz led by as many as 21 in the third quarter. Utah went up 87-68 when Mitchell drained a jumper and then fed Ingles for a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.

Physical play and heated emotions characterized the game. Both teams picked up two technical fouls before halftime. Jae Crowder was ejected after a technical foul with 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.

“That’s just what you’re going to get with a playoff team,” George said. “It’s playoff basketball. It’s going to get chippy. It’s going to get physical. We’re in it for the fight.”

Thunder: Westbrook finished with his fourth consecutive double-double in the series. … Anthony went just 5 of 18 from the field. … Oklahoma City totaled one assist in the third quarter and finished with 10 for the game. … The Thunder shot 5 of 26 from 3-point range.

Smart had been sidelined since March 11 when he tore the UCL in his right thumb while diving for a loose ball. He initially targeted a return later this month but flew to New York on Monday and was cleared by his doctor to engage in contact activities.

The Celtics hope Smart can add a jolt of defensive intensity to a team that hasn’t played to the standard it set while leading the NBA in defensive rating during the regular season.

“Obviously, we’re better with Marcus Smart,” Stevens said before Game 5. “I don’t think that’s debatable.”

Stevens wasn’t sure about a minutes restriction for Smart but noted that he was unlikely to play big minutes in his first game back. Stevens suggested the minutes will be under 35.

Smart traveled with the Celtics for Games 3 and 4 in Milwaukee, when the Bucks evened the series at 2, and had engaged in everything but live action in recent weeks while waiting for clearance for contact activities.

With that clearance Monday, he was also cleared for game action.
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