Jayson Tatum calls out Celtics-Knicks ref for undeserved tech originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Jayson Tatum sent the TD Garden crowd home happy Monday night, but not before he got on the wrong side of an official.
The Boston Celtics star was whistled for a foul on New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley with 4:47 remaining in the fourth quarter. Tatum disagreed with the call and reacted with a loud clap and a yell -- a passionate reaction, but seemingly not out of the ordinary for the fourth quarter of a competitive game.
Referee Gediminas Petraitis saw things differently, however, and hit Tatum with a quick technical foul. (You can watch the sequence here.)
When asked to describe what happened after the game, Tatum was adamant he did nothing wrong.
"I shouldn’t have got the tech,” Tatum said, as seen in the video player above. “I mean, it’s tough. It’s an emotional game, right? The fans can see it, everybody watching can see it, it’s hard to play the game without emotions.
"I understand there is a fine line and a balance, but fourth quarter, we playing defense and I screamed nothing crazy, not even directing it towards anybody. And then for the ref on the other side to come and give me that tech, I don’t agree with that. It wasn’t right. But can't go back and change it now."
The good news for Boston is that Tatum's technical didn't cost the Celtics. In fact, the NBA MVP candidate appeared to use his frustration as fuel, drilling a trio of huge 3-pointers in the final four minutes to seal Boston's 114-98 victory.
"I mean, yeah, I was mad, because I thought I didn’t deserve that tech at all," Tatum said. "I’ve gotten a lot of techs in my career I know that I deserve. That wasn’t one of them."
Tatum has spent too much energy arguing with officials in the past and has made a point to not let missed calls affect him. So, while it wasn't ideal to see Tatum get hit with a technical, Celtics fans should be encouraged that he stayed locked in both before and after the incident: He scored 17 of his game-high 35 points in the fourth quarter, hitting 6 of 8 shots (4 of 5 from 3-point range) in the final 12 minutes.
Boston is back in action Wednesday night against the 8-1 Philadelphia 76ers at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Boston.