Marcus Smart made his feelings about NBA officials clear Thursday night.

"If they won't protect me, I will," he said.

The Celtics guard was highly critical of the officiating crew after Boston's 108-87 win over the Hornets at the Spectrum Center. Smart's frustration boiled over in the fourth quarter when he was shoved to the floor by Charlotte forward Miles Bridges, who earned a technical foul following a review, but his complaints went well beyond that push. He claims referees treat him differently than other players.

"I wish they would call the game the right way," Smart said. "A lot of the calls that they called, I didn't understand where the fouls were. It just seems like whenever I get the ball and I'm on offense, I can't get a call. With Bridges pushing, stuff like that — and I told him, I said, 'If it was me, y'all [would] probably throw me out the game and everything. So either you clear it up, or I will.'

"I allowed y'all, I gave y'all the time. Y'all keep telling me, 'Let us handle it. Let us handle it.' I'm coming to y'all first, but at some point, as a player, as a man, you've got to protect yourself. . . . If that means I've got to lose a little bit of money, I've got to lose a little bit of money."