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DeMarcus Cousins receives automatic suspension for picking up 16th tech, fined $25K

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has been suspended for one game without pay after picking up his 16th technical of the year, the NBA announced.

The Kings play the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

Cousins also was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for making an inappropriate statement and gesture after leaving the floor following the Kings' win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

Cousins, who leads the league in technical fouls, collected two on Monday night, leading to an automatic ejection. The second technical foul came with 1.1 seconds remaining.

Cousins received his first technical Monday night just after the third quarter ended. A minor fracas broke out that involved Cousins, teammate Matt Barnes, Bulls assistant coach Jim Boylen and Chicago forward Taj Gibson. Cousins shoved Boylen's arm away as tempers flared, and all three players were given technicals.

The second came when a furious Cousins thought he was fouled on a 3-point attempt.

From now on, every two technicals Cousins receives will result in another one-game suspension.

"It is what it is," Kings coach Dave Joerger said after practice. "We got to keep working on it, keep improving on it. It affects our team. He's been great and we need him to be great every single night. He carries a heavy load for us. It's a tough deal to play a game without him, but it just is what it is. You got to go on."

Cousins declined to address reporters after practice.

Joerger said he discussed the situation with Cousins but declined to go into specifics. The coach said he believes Cousins is learning from the situation.

"Oh yeah," Joerger said. "What he can do differently, or how to approach different things. Just keep working on it."

Joerger knows that each technical for Cousins will be even more punitive, carrying a heftier fine and more suspensions.

"Certainly there's a lot more bite to it now," Joerger said. "For having every two [being a suspension]. It is, it's a good challenge [for him]."

Joerger said in recent weeks that he believed Cousins was maturing despite the technical fouls and outbursts. Even after the latest suspension, Joerger says his star big man is still on the right track.

"I think he's improved his leadership qualities," Joerger said. "He helps his teammates. He's getting guys in the right spots and facilitating. The number of triple-doubles he's had or near triple-doubles because his assist numbers keep coming up, the way he goes about his business, how he's been very positive with his teammates when we're having tough times and pushing them when we're having good times. You just see the leadership growing in him.

Kings big man Willie Cauley-Stein could start in Cousins' place against the Celtics. When asked what changes most without Cousins on the floor, Cauley-Stein replied, "Offense."

"He's like our point guard, honestly," Cauley-Stein said. "So he's taking out a point guard. That's how much he has the ball in his hands. His 25 touches a game, 30 touches a game, we won't [have] that, so we'll have to find it somewhere else."

ESPN's Nick Friedell contributed to this report.