By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Patrick Beverley had no time to talk about Marcus Smart following Wednesday night’s thrilling Celtics-Clippers overtime affair. Beverley was a big part of L.A.’s win, and after, he didn’t have any desire to heap any praise Smart’s way.

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On Friday, Smart clapped back at the Clippers guard.

Smart and Beverley are similar players in that they’re both extremely pesky — and effective — on the defensive end. They’re both agitators that get under the opposition’s skin, and it usually leads to good things for their respective teams.

Asked about Smart’s tenacity after Wednesday’s game, Beverley scoffed at the suggestion of Smart being on his level. It was a bit aggressive, considering how dominant Smart has been on the defensive end this season.

That was Smart’s defense when asked about Beverley’s comments in Denver on Friday.

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“You have to respect a guy like that who goes out there and plays every night fearlessly. He really stands down to nobody,” Smart told reporters, via the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn.

Smart went a step further though, playing the old “I respect you, but” card.

“The respect factor is there, but at the same time, I’m on another level,” he said. “If you have to choose me and Pat, I think I can get that nod. No offense to Pat, but step his game up a little more and we’ll see.”

But Smart wasn’t done yet. What would a little NBA back-and-forth be without toughness coming into play, and that’s exactly where Smart brought this.

“What I am surprised about is for Pat to think that I’m below him or anything in that standpoint where, you (put) me head up against Pat I think we know who’d win that battle,” Smart told The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. “I think my play speaks for itself. I’m not saying Pat’s not a good ball player, good defender, but I’m just on another level right now.”

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Oh boy, we got ourselves a typical NBA beef on our hands. Smart and Beverley will get their chance to out-tough the other (a flop-off, perhaps?) when the Clippers visit Boston on Feb. 13.