Officials take center stage in Celtics' loss

Officials take center stage in Celtics' loss
February 23, 2014, 2:45 am
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Brad Stevens is ejected from Boston's 105-98 loss to the Kings.

(USA Today Sports Images)

SACRAMENTO — The Boston Celtics made more than enough mistakes in Saturday's 105-98 loss at Sacramento for the game's outcome to rest squarely on their shoulders.

But some questionable officiating did not help.

It reached its zenith in the fourth quarter when Gerald Wallace and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens were both ejected after each was whistled for one technical foul with 35.7 seconds to play by lead official Marc Davis.

Stevens had little to say on his ejection, the first he has had at any level as a head coach.

However, Wallace was more than comfortable explaining what happened from his perspective.

"I think he (Davis) was a little frustrated because I was right and he was wrong," Wallace said.

The play that seemed to set off both teams into being more chippy occurred with about seven minutes to play.

Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins poked the ball out of Kris Humphries' hands which led to a Celtics turnover.

As Cousins and Humphries began running down the floor, the two became tangled. After they become dislodged, Cousins took his right arm and shoved Humphries in front of Marc Davis.

On that play, Davis called a foul on Humphries.

"We were just playing," said Humphries when asked about battling Cousins. "I don't really want to comment on it." 

Humphries said he was not caught off-guard when the game became a bit more physical.

"I don't get surprised," Humphries said. "You just have to play. You never know what you're going to get out there."

While the Celtics tried to avoid talking too much about officiating, it was indeed the elephant in the room following Saturday's loss that could not be ignored.

Wallace didn't believe the Celtics were getting a fair shake with the calls and didn't mince his words in letting Davis know.

"They (Kings) got to do what they wanted to do," Wallace said. "We weren't allowed to do it. Like I said, the home team got the advantage of the physicality tonight.

Wallace added, "I felt like they were protecting players, especially on their team. They do stuff and they don't get called and we were getting called on petty things. I spoke my mind. At the end of the night, they had the momentum, rode it in the fourth quarter and got the win."

Davis is no stranger to controversy and the Celtics.

During the 2012 playoffs, Rajon Rondo was suspended for Game 2 of their first-round series with Atlanta after bumping Davis in Game 1.

And last season, then-Celtics coach Doc Rivers submitted video of crucial plays that he felt the officials got wrong (Davis was one of the officials) in a 100-99 overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Boston held a two-point lead with 12 seconds to play in regulation when Paul Pierce appeared to have drawn a foul against Chicago. However, one official ruled a jump ball which eventually went to the Bulls that allowed them to tie the game and force overtime.

"(Pierce) was fouled, there’s no doubt about that,” Rivers said afterwards. “I also thought if you watch it, Rondo absolutely called a timeout and it’s clear. He was literally an inch away from Marc Davis’ face and did it twice. And then you can see Sean Corbin’s hand go up for a jump-ball. So it was clear that, in my opinion, he was fouled, number one. And number two, we got the timeout and it wasn’t called.”