The 3-1 Boston Celtics suffered their first loss of the 2022-23 season on Monday when they relinquished an 18-point first-quarter lead and fell to the Chicago Bulls, 120-102. Head coach Joe Mazzulla was ejected, as was fourth-year big man Grant Williams. Early in the fourth quarter, Williams, with Boston trailing 100-82, was called for a blocking foul against Zach LaVine. LaVine lowered his shoulder into Williams’ chest, while Williams was sliding laterally. His response led him to join Mazzulla in the locker room.
Grant Williams joins Joe Mazzulla as he also gets ejected after bumping into the referee pic.twitter.com/htZxVuePnq
— hoops bot (@hoops_bot) October 25, 2022
The former Tennessee Volunteer clearly took exception to the foul and animatedly hopped up from the floor to express his dismay. While doing so, he made (presumably) incidental contact with an official. As a result of that, along with allegedly “directing inappropriate language toward a game official,” Williams has been suspended without pay for Boston’s next game, which comes Friday at home against the 2-1 Cleveland Cavaliers.
The following was released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/52Bh8RfBSt
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) October 26, 2022
While an early season, one-game absence is largely inconsequential, Williams being sidelined further compromises an already depleted frontcourt for Boston, who are without Robert Williams III and Danilo Gallinari for the time being, both due to varying knee injuries. The Celtics will look to weather his brief suspension in the meantime before he returns to the lineup Sunday at home against the 3-1 Washington Wizards, who sit atop the Southeastern Division to open 2022-23.