Marcus Morris doesn’t believe his actions warranted the pair of technical fouls he picked up against the Houston Rockets Thursday night at the Toyota Center.
“I didn’t think I deserved that,” he said following Boston’s 127-113 loss. “Either one.”
Morris, who has been T’d up three times through 33 games this season, was ejected with 4:38 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Celtics trailing by 14 points. He was the only player tossed from the game, but six technicals were issued on the night.
“[The decision-making process] was just emotional,” Morris told reporters. “[Rockets coach] Mike D’Antoni and their bench got technical fouls, too. So I think [the officials] just wanted to return the favor.”
Morris’s first technical came with just over nine minutes remaining in the third quarter when he was whistled for a delay of game. After getting called for a shooting foul for slapping the ball out of Rockets center Clint Capela’s hands as Capela was going up for a putback, Morris ran the length of the court holding the ball.
“The one where I took the ball down the court, delay of game was called 100 times, but you just gave me a tech,” Morris said, arguing that officials could have limited the infraction to a warning.
His second came while driving the ball in transition in the fourth quarter. As he was looking to push the ball after grabbing a defensive rebound off a missed three-pointer by Rockets shooting Eric Gordon, Morris fended off a trailing P.J. Tucker with his left arm. Officials levied an offensive foul, however, because he kicked his elbow back too far, causing Tucker to fall to the ground. Morris was hit with the tech, and resulting ejection, for voicing his disagreement.
“Tucker is one of my better friends in this league,” Morris said. “Obviously, I know he flopped because I didn’t even do anything. The refs made the call, but I didn’t think the technical call was needed. I didn’t say nothing.”
Morris also noted he’s “turned the corner” with his interactions with referees this season. The 29-year-old had a team-high 11 technical fouls and two ejections during last year’s regular season, plus five more in the postseason.
Coach Brad Stevens did not have any comment about Thursday’s calls, deferring to Morris. Point guard Kyrie Irving said Morris understands the implications of his actions.
“I mean, it happens, man,” Irving said. “S*** happens. He knows. I told him how much of an example he sets for our young guys. Coming out in a game like that, it matters. So, he knows. Obviously, he plays with a lot of passion.”