DeMarcus Cousins has his ups and downs against New Orleans. (Steve Yeater/Associated Press)

When told that a player was ejected from a game involving the Kings, most sports fans would assume that DeMarcus Cousins was the guilty party. On Sunday, it was Pelicans rookie Buddy Hield who got the boot, although the Sacramento star played a central — and painful — role.

Late in the first half, Hield earned a flagrant-two foul, which results in an automatic ejection, after hitting Cousins in the groin while coming around a screen. Referees did not catch the act initially, but called the foul on video review, after Cousins had complained about it.

The infraction made for a short night for Hield, who departed after playing just over 14 minutes, during which he scored five points on 2-of-5 shooting, plus two assists. The sixth overall pick out of Oklahoma entered Sunday averaging 8.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 20.5 minutes per game.

Cousins went on to stuff the box score with 28 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in a 105-99 Kings win, but in keeping with his turbulent ways, he also picked up his own technical foul. That gave the three-time all-star a league-leading 17 techs and means his next one will earn him a one-game suspension. Cousins already sat out a game for getting T’ed up 16 times, and his reputation may have contributed to No. 17, given that it came on a play for which other NBA stars might have been given a pass.

Of Cousins’s penchant for picking up techs, Kings Coach Dave Joerger had said before Sunday’s game that “he’s an emotional guy, and he plays passionate, emotional basketball.” Hield’s coach, Alvin Gentry, had to be restrained while arguing with the referees during Sunday’s game, as he thought that the rookie was improperly penalized. Hield may receive an one-game suspension after the NBA reviews his ejection.

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