BOSTON — Jayson Tatum’s night was cut short after the four-time All-Star was ejected in the third quarter during Friday night’s Celtics-Sixers rivalry battle.

Already in the middle of a tight contest despite facing a severely shorthanded Philadelphia team, Tatum’s temper got the best of him. The 25-year-old was charged with a loose ball foul, prompting a fired-up reaction along with some words directed at the officials. Restrained by Celtics assistant coach Charles Lee, Tatum was assessed his second technical foul of the night and ejected with just 2.6 seconds left before the start of the fourth quarter.

“It’s like the refs word against ours and at that moment, when they throw you out, they throw you out. Even if I was right,” Tatum explained after Boston’s 125-119 win over Philadelphia. “They can go back and talk about it after the game. It’s not like we get that game back, I don’t get that time back. It’s unfortunate, but it’s like I said, I can’t change what happened.”

Tatum added: “I was shocked. It’s like we always say, ‘Get your money’s worth,’ when you get fined for these techs. And I definitely did not get my money’s worth for getting thrown out of the game tonight.”

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Ideally, the Celtics shouldn’t be in the position where they lose their No. 1 player — not due to injury — in the middle of a tight contest, no less when facing a potential threat at the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Regardless of what call is made by the officials, Boston can’t bear to possibly lose after losing Tatum’s presence over a shouting match that doesn’t need to happen.

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At that moment, Tatum had reached 21 points and was Boston’s leading scorer with the C’s ahead just 95-94 — the worst time for an ejection.

Granted, this time the Celtics weathered a potentially disastrous storm in a game where the Sixers entered as the disadvantaged bunch by missing Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Kelly Oubre and Nicholas Batum.

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“Throughout the game, we didn’t necessarily play well, up to our standard,” Tatum said. “I just love the way we still figured out a way to win the game.”

Boston escaped, although Philadelphia threatened, highlighting the resilience within the Celtics and the depth within the Sixers.

This time, resilience bested depth, keeping Boston atop the East with a still NBA-best 15-4 record, including a perfect 9-0 start at home.

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images