METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans center DeMarcus Cousins said he was protecting a rebound the way all big men are taught when he was ejected for a flagrant foul Monday night in a game against Oklahoma City.

Cousins was called for a flagrant-two foul when he raised his right elbow near Thunder guard Russell Westbrook’s head during the third quarter of the Pelicans’ 114-107 victory.

Cousins, who didn’t speak about the play until after Tuesday’s practice, said Westbrook “did a good job of selling” the foul the way he fell, holding his head.

“It’s crazy. When you start playing the game of basketball as a big man, they tell you, ‘When you get a rebound, keep your elbows high and out,’ you know, to protect the ball from guards coming in stripping,” Cousins said. “All I did was use my fundamentals and I got punished for it.”

Cousins, who has a history of on-court emotional outbursts that draw a relatively high number of technical fouls, said he knew officials wouldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt when they reviewed the play on a video monitor before ejecting him.

“I’m DeMarcus. I expected the ejection. I knew,” said Cousins, who was assessed a league-high 18 technical fouls last season.

Cousins added he’s not sure what he can do differently going forward other than “send the refs a Christmas card – I don’t know – the league, too. Send Christmas cards, stuff like that.”

The play occurred under the Pelicans’ basket in the third quarter after Cousins secured a rebound. When Cousins raised his elbows near Westbrook’s face, Westbrook went down.

It wasn’t clear from replays whether Cousins caught Westbrook in the head or shoulder, or if the contact was significant.

The league office reviews such plays before deciding on fines or additional punishment.

BUCKS: Forward Mirza Teletovic is expected to miss four weeks following arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee. He’s missed the last six games.

RAY ALLEN, a retired NBA star, said he’s a victim of “catfishing,” and asked a court to throw out a case where he’s accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen filed an emergency motion one day after Bryant Coleman told the court he’s being stalked by Allen, who said Coleman is the one who is stalking.

“Coleman pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in Ray Allen,” read the motion filed on Allen’s behalf. “Ray believed he was speaking with these women and communicated with them.”

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