Sullinger on flagrant foul: I went for the ball

Sullinger on flagrant foul: I went for the ball
November 24, 2013, 12:30 am
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Jared Sullinger didn't feel as though he had a choice.

Deliver a hard foul or allow two points?

Sullinger chose Door No. 1 which resulted in him being hit with a Flagrant-1 foul when he whacked Atlanta's DeMarre Carroll at the 6:14 mark of the third quarter.

Upon watching the replay, it appears as though Sullinger made contact with Carroll's head on the play.

The league office will likely review the play and decide if additional punishment like an additional fine or possibly a suspension, is warranted.

"I went for the ball," Sullinger told reporters after the game. "He was ahead of me. I didn't want him to get a shot up."

After the play, Hawks forward Al Horford had some words for Sullinger as officials and players intervened to make sure things didn't get out of hand.

"I didn't say nothing. I was just standing there," said Sullinger who finished with 15 points and nine rebounds despite battling flu-like symptoms. "This is basketball. I guess he was trying to [stick] up for his teammate. It is what it is."

While Sullinger made it clear that he was not attempting to hurt Carroll on the play, he was trying to send a message - the kind of message he and his Celtics teammates received less than 24 hours earlier from the Indiana Pacers who roughed up the Celtics in the second of their victory over Boston.

"The way we played against Indiana in the second half, they played physical with us," Sullinger recalled. "I went for the ball. I didn't try to hurt him or nothing. It was just a hard basketball play. He was out ahead of me. I tried to make sure he did not get two points."

Following the play, it appeared as though the hard foul delivered by Sullinger was working against the Celtics.

The score was tied at 59 when Sullinger delivered the foul to Carroll. Atlanta scored nine of the game's next 10 points, and took a 10-point lead (74-64) into the fourth quarter.

But the Celtics made a slew of tough plays around the basket in the fourth that helped chip away at Atlanta's lead, with Sullinger being among those in the mix.

"That's who I am," he said. "I like to work hard. It's fun. You're going against the best of the best every night. You have to understand that it is a battle and take the challenge."

Sullinger added, "it's a battle. I love battling."