Jayson Tatum was tossed from a game for just the second time in his seven-year NBA career when the Celtics hosted the 76ers on Friday night.

Already struggling to shake off a gritty, dirt dog-like effort from an undermanned Philadelphia team, Tatum made matters worse for Boston.

In the final seconds of the third quarter, Tatum was charged with a loose ball foul on 76ers forward Robert Covington — which was later upgraded to a flagrant 1. In response, Tatum got chirpy with the officials, resulting in the 25-year-old racking up his second technical foul of the night and an ejection.

Boston’s No. 1 star, however, wasn’t the only one displeased with the officiating throughout the night, as mentioned by Sixers head coach Nick Nurse after the Celtics escaped with a 125-119 win at TD Garden.

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“There was lots of barking by both teams, right? And they lost a player which I thought was unfortunate. I hate to see that,” Sixers head coach Nick Nurse told reporters postgame. “Especially somebody like him, you know, (someone) everybody comes to see play. I don’t know what happened, but obviously, players from both sides were frustrated.”

The atmosphere was very playoff-like, although the game ended with some preseason-ish rotations from both sides.

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Tatum’s early exit stranded the Celtics, who were already without Kristaps Porzingis (calf injury), for the fourth quarter. At that point, Boston still hadn’t grown a notable enough lead to ease the concerns and threats of a loss without the assistance of its four-time All-Star.

Taking notice of that, Philadelphia — without Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and Nicholas Batum — didn’t back down, giving the Celtics a run for their money.

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“Our guys, just across the board, we were fighting and I think we totally outplayed them and just thought we didn’t get any breaks at the end,” Nurse added. “We were figuring out a lot of things on the fly tonight with a lot of new people. … Again, really good effort. Gave ourselves a chance.”

While valiant, that chance still wasn’t enough to keep Boston from improving to a NBA-best 15-4 record and remain in first place in the Eastern Conference.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images