SALT LAKE CITY DeMarcus Cousins said he simply wanted an explanation for his first technical foul.
Instead, he got ejected.
Cousins was tossed at halftime Monday night after picking up his second technical foul for arguing with officials in the Kings' 98-91 overtime loss to the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.
Kings coach Keith Smart and guard Isaiah Thomas saw the potential for something bad as Cousins approached referees Scott Foster, Matt Boland and Tre Maddox at halfcourt.
But Cousins said enough before they arrived.
"He was all right until whatever he said," Thomas said. "He's got to be smarter because he's not just hurting himself, he's hurting his team when he does things like that."
Cousins was put off by the fact that Maddox didn't explain the first technical against him with 2:23 left in the second quarter.
"He was saying, 'Don't talk to me,' " Cousins said. "So my response was, 'You don't have to act like an effing female.' I shouldn't have said that. That's about it."
With that, Foster tossed Cousins.
Cousins has been ejected twice against the Jazz this season. He was thrown out from a Nov. 24 win over visiting Utah after being called for two technical fouls.
Cousins has an NBA-high 12 technical fouls and is four from an automatic one-game suspension.
The center has been ejected three times this season. The other time was in a Jan. 10 loss to visiting Dallas when Cousins was called for a flagrant foul 2 for hitting Vince Carter in the face with his forearm during overtime.
Smart said he was going to the officials for an explanation when Foster whistled Cousins for the second technical.
"It was just conversation, but the wrong kind of conversation," Smart said.
"I think there was a conversation on both sides, and the referee got to the point where he didn't want to hear anymore. The part where it is halftime and you are walking toward them, you will probably always get in trouble doing that."
Without their leading scorer and rebounder, the Kings ended their season-long six-game trip 1-5, losing the last four games.
The Kings (17-33) led 82-75 with 4:26 to play in regulation. But the Jazz closed the quarter on a 9-2 run to force overtime at 84-84. The only Kings points down the stretch came on two free throws by Tyreke Evans with 58.9 seconds left.
Evans had a chance to give the Kings the lead when he faked past Randy Foye to get to the rim, but he missed the layup attempt with 16.9 seconds left.
"It was a foul," Evans said. "I went up strong, I got by him, and he pushed me in the back. No way I'm missing a layup that bad. But it's Utah. I guess you don't get those type of calls, so you've just got to play."
In overtime, the Kings couldn't generate enough offense to keep up with the Jazz (27-22).
Jason Thompson had a season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, and Evans scored 20.
Foye led the Jazz with 20 points, six in overtime, and Al Jefferson had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Thomas said it might have been a different outcome if Cousins had kept his cool.
"I feel like we probably could have won if we had him, and he has to be a smarter basketball player when it comes to letting it go and going on to the next play," Thomas said.
"They're going to miss calls. They might officiate bad here and there, but he's costing himself and the team. He has to be a lot smarter."