Celtics big man Jared Sullinger was ejected after picking up two flagrant fouls in a span of 24 seconds during a 129-98 loss at Denver on Tuesday.
With a little more than nine minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Nuggets leading 74-51, J.J. Hickson pushed the ball up the court after Denver cleared a defensive rebound. Hickson passed to Chandler, who in turn gave it back to Hickson as he entered the paint.
Chasing the play from behind, Sullinger wound up and swiped down hard in an attempt to block Hickson's layup. Instead, he made contact with Hickson's right arm, and the force of the foul plus the speed of the play sent Hickson falling hard to the court.
Then, on Boston's next possession after the free throws, Sullinger worked against Kenneth Faried on the right block. Turning toward the paint, Sullinger swung his right elbow toward Faried's head in an attempt to clear room for a short jumper. Faried took the contact to the face and staggered backward. Sullinger was quickly assessed another his second flagrant foul, which necessitates an automatic ejection.
The second-year forward has accumulated five flagrant fouls this season and he will trigger a suspension with his next flagrant foul infraction.
Sullinger was ejected with 8:42 remaining in the third quarter and the Nuggets leading 79-51. He departed with eight points (on 4-for-8 shooting) and seven rebounds in 14 minutes. The Boston Globe reported that Sullinger did not speak to the media after the game.
Faried finished with 21 points (on 6-for-8 shooting) and 13 rebounds for Denver. Hickson added 17 points (on 6-for-8 shooting) and eight rebounds.
Boston (13-22) lost its fifth straight game. Denver improved to 17-17.
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