Sullinger ejected after flagrant fouls

January, 7, 2014
Jan 7
11:25
PM ET
Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger got whistled for two flagrant-1 fouls in the span of 23 seconds early in the third quarter of Tuesday's loss to the Denver Nuggets, leading to his ejection.

Broadcast ScreenshotsJared Sullinger received his second flagrant-1 foul for this elbow to the head of Kenneth Faried.
With the Celtics trailing by 23, Sullinger picked up his first flagrant-1 for a hard two-handed foul on J.J. Hickson while trying to prevent a layup in transition. Hickson made both free throws and Ty Lawson hit a jumper to push Denver's lead to 27 and, on Boston's next offensive possession, Sullinger elbowed Kenneth Faried while trying to make a move toward the basket after backing Denver's big man down on the blocks.

Referees reviewed both plays to confirm the calls. Sullinger finished with eight points on 4-of-8 shooting with seven rebounds over 14:23.

More concerning for Boston is that -- pending league review of Tuesday's two flagrant-1 fouls -- Sullinger has been assessed a league-high five flagrant fouls and will be issued a mandatory one-game suspension with his next flagrant foul.

A flagrant-1 foul is defined as unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent. The opposing team is awarded two free throws and possession. Suspensions jump to two games per flagrant after a player reaches eight flagrant points (one point for a flagrant-1; two points for a flagrant-2).

Sullinger's first foul seems the more likely of the two to potentially be downgraded upon league review. His foul on Hickson didn't seem all that egregious (at least not as much as the frustration elbow to Faried). If that first flagrant is downgraded, it would pull Sullinger back from the cusp of suspension (though, in that scenario, he'd still be line for a one-game ban with any flagrant-2 violation).

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
18.9 1.6 0.9 33.6
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 7.8
AssistsJ. Nelson 6.3
StealsJ. Nelson 1.5
BlocksK. Olynyk 0.8