BOSTON — Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was ejected from Wednesday’s game against the Boston Celtics after picking up his second technical foul for throwing rookie Marcus Smart to the ground in the fourth quarter.
Cousins and Smart drew double technical fouls for their dust-up and Cousins was ejected having already picked up a technical in the first half for complaining to officials.
Cousins could seemingly face further discipline from the league for the way he threw Smart to the ground with 7:31 remaining in a game that Boston went on to win 106-84 at TD Garden.
Cousins said he took umbrage with the way Smart ran into his pick earlier in the possession (though Smart didn't appear to do anything beyond fight through the screen). Smart went low while attempting to box out Cousins after the shot attempt that followed, which led a frustrated Cousins to grab Smart by the jersey and throw him backwards to the floor in front of the Boston bench.
Officials reviewed the play before upholding the double technical called on the floor.
“I did have an issue,” said Cousins. "It didn’t start with the box out, it was the pick. He tried to run through my chest and then he came and I felt like he took a cheap shot on the box out, which resulted in what happened. Regardless, I got to make better decisions. The team depends on me every night and I just can’t do things like that.”
Cousins had been on his best behavior this season, logging only one technical foul entering Wednesday’s game. But upset at a lack of calls early in the game, the combustible Cousins seemed on the verge of a meltdown.
Smart got right off the ground and walked towards Cousins while barking at him. Smart, the sixth overall pick in June’s draft, said he was uncertain why he was assessed a technical.
But Smart said he wasn’t about to back down to Cousins.
"To be honest, I’m not really worried about [being thrown to the ground],” said Smart. "He knows that I’m not going to back down from it. I don’t see why I got the tech though. I don’t know, they didn’t really tell me. It’s all good. Like I said, I’m one of those guys that’s not going to back down from anything. I’m going to let that be known.”
Told that Cousins had cried foul about the pick and box out, Smart added: “It was a box out. That’s his opinion. Everybody saw the play. Like I said, I’m not going to back down from anything. And if that’s what he thinks, that’s what he thinks. … I’m just playing defense.”