Bagley received his second technical foul for “an overt reaction that went beyond the heat of the moment,” according to referee James Capers.
It’s one of the weakest second technical fouls I’ve ever seen. Usually, players get a little more leeway when in danger of the automatic ejection. Bagley got way less. That would’ve been a weak first technical foul. Players deserve a little room to express frustration in the midst of a highly competitive.
Maybe Bagley said something beyond just jumping in a circle and seemingly throwing a confused look at a ref. But Capers didn’t cite language – unlike his explanation of the first technical foul: “The Sacramento team had been warned about continually complaining, and then he resented a foul call and had a profanity laced statement directed towards the official.”
The ejection actually might have worked out for the Kings, though. Without Bagley, they had to rely more on their more-effective players and better-fitting lineups. Rookie Tyrese Haliburton replaced Bagley and played the rest of the game – including with Richaun Holmes as the big, Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield as other wings and De'Aaron Fox starring at point guard in a lineup that played the entire fourth quarter. After getting outscored by one in Bagley’s 22 minutes, Sacramento rallied for a 118-109 win over the Pelicans with a +16 fourth quarter.