Jayson Tatum gives explanation for his ejection from Celtics-Rockets

Jayson Tatum gives explanation for his ejection from Celtics-Rockets originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics were forced to finish Saturday night’s game against the Houston Rockets without their best player.

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum was ejected in the fourth quarter after picking up two technical fouls for arguing with the officials. Tatum went up for a dunk and got hit on the arm by Rockets forward Cam Whitmore. There was no foul call, though, which upset Tatum.

Here’s a replay of what happened:

The Celtics were leading 117-90 when Tatum was ejected. There was 10:17 left on the clock. It was unlikely that the Rockets would mount a successful comeback at that point. Boston ultimately won 145-113 to improve to 30-9.

What led to Tatum getting so upset at the referees?

“Didn’t appreciate or like the no calls on those last two drives,” Tatum said in his postgame press conference. “I’m a very self-aware person. I understand the time and score. The game was pretty much over, and I had to stand up for myself. I said my piece, got ejected, and that was it.”

Tatum is a superstar, and if he feels like he’s not getting the proper amount of respect from the referees, he’s going to make sure his voice is heard. Based on his comments above, it sounds like if the score was close, he wouldn’t have pushed the envelope so much. He’s obviously way too important to get tossed if the outcome is still in the balance.

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla didn’t seem concerned at all when asked about Tatum’s technical fouls.

“In the NBA, you have the space of having to defend yourself,” Mazzulla told reporters. “And for me, having to defend my guys, and there’s a time and a place for that. There’s a time and place for everything. You’ve got to pick and choose your spots. I trust his judgment.”