Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett were ejected as the Boston Celtics were unable to find their stride on Friday night, losing to the Phoenix Suns, 88-71, at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix.
Rivers' ejection came during a timeout with 4:33 remaining in the second quarter. Steve Javie, the official who ejected the Celtics' head coach, did not give an explanation for his decision to toss Rivers.
Garnett, who finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, was ejected with 4:07 remaining in the fourth quarter after hitting the Suns' Channing Frye in the groin during a three-point attempt. Frye fell to the floor in pain, but quickly got up and confronted Garnett.
Tempers flared in the ensuing moments, and several players from both teams got in the face of their opponents. When the players cooled off, Garnett was charged with a personal foul and two technical fouls, resulting in an automatic ejection. Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson also received technical fouls in the minor scuffle.
Phoenix (21-24) was awarded with six free throws as a result of the debacle, three of which came as a result of Boston's technical fouls. Steve Nash (13 points, 10 assists) made two of three free throws and Frye (five points, five rebounds) made two of his three free throws.
Paul Pierce finished with 14 points, Ray Allen had eight points and Rajon Rondo added seven points and six assists for the Celtics. Marquis Daniels scored six points and Nate Robinson totaled four points for Boston.
Marcin Gortat amassed 19 points and 17 rebounds to pace the Suns. Vince Carter scored 17 points and both Robin Lopez and Mickael Pietrus had 11 points for Phoenix.
Boston shot a dismal 34.2% from the field (27-for-79) and 11.1% from three-point range (2-for-18). Phoenix made 43.2% of its field goals (32-for-74) and shot 35.3% from long distance.
To make matters worse, the Celtics turned the ball over 17 times and had 19 fouls. Boston also had 21 turnovers on Thursday night in its 88-78 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Boston is off until Sunday afternoon when it faces the archrival Los Angeles Lakers in a rematch of the 2010 NBA Finals. The Lakers are coming off of a 100-95 loss to the lowly Sacramento Kings on Friday night.