Lakers boil after missed call leads to loss to Celtics

BOSTON — The Los Angeles Lakers’ 125-121 overtime loss to the Celtics on Saturday saw Jayson Tatum’s foul shot on LeBron James in the final seconds of the game be acknowledged by the referee. Let Los Angeles be furious about another loss to host.

The Lakers had a golden opportunity to beat the league-leading Celtics when James tied the game with 4.0 seconds left. When he attempted a left-handed layup, he sprinted all the way to the rim, but got hit in the arm by Tatum and missed the shot before the timer expired.

James immediately turned to the referee standing on the baseline and grabbed his arm to signal the location of the contact. He jumped up and down, slapped the hardwood, put his head in his hands in disbelief, and finally fell to his knees in the paint, burying his head in his arms on the floor.

“There was contact,” team principal Eric Lewis told pool reporters after the game. “At the time, during the game, we didn’t see fouls. The crew missed the game.”

The acknowledgment was the latest in a string of poor refereeing the Lakers have seen in their games, reminiscent of recent losses to Dallas, Philadelphia and Sacramento when the calls went against them.

“[Tatum] Fouled him. He fouled. Clearly. Obviously,” Anthony Davis said. “It’s the Bulls—. … This is unacceptable. I guarantee the referee will be fine. Honestly, we were ripped off tonight. This is a flagrant foul. … Honestly, this is unacceptable. Refereeing sucks. They were bad tonight. “

James averaged 30.2 points per game, ranking sixth in the league, and averaged 6.2 free throws per game, the least among the top eight scorers in the league.

“It was challenging,” James said after scoring 41 points on 15-of-30 shooting. “I don’t get it. I’m attacking the paint like as many players in this league are making double-digit free throws a night, I don’t get it. I don’t get it”

James attempted six free throws against the Celtics, and the Lakers combined for 20 free throws. The Celtics nearly doubled that number, going 34 for 39 from the field. He said a string of disappointing referees made it look like his team was being targeted.

“I watch basketball every day,” he said. “I watch the game every day. And I don’t see that happen to anyone else. It’s weird.”

Lakers head coach Dalvin Ham, who is usually reluctant to criticize referees, also couldn’t deny that referees had an impact on the outcome of Saturday’s game.

“As much as you try not to put it on the referee, it’s getting harder,” Ham said. “The best player in the world can’t get a call. It’s amazing.”

Ham demanded more consistency from the officials, pointing out how Jaylen Brown was awarded a free throw for a foul on Patrick Beverley before James’ last-second drive. He also said James’ strength and physicality worked against him.

“[He] He played strong, physical basketball, and just because he didn’t fall, didn’t fall, or he didn’t scream on his shot, like I’ve seen a lot of other players do, he got punished for it,” Han said. “I saw the same thing with Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. I saw the same thing when I was a Shaq player [O’Neal] era. The ones who do it physically and really try to focus on finishing the game, sometimes that works against them. But then you see other guys whimpering with every shot or every hit… and they’re the ones who get the whistle. “

Disappointed, the Lakers quickly came up with some tweaks that could improve the refereeing. Hamm suggests having four officials, or changing the challenge rules so that if the coach uses it and is successful, the coach can use it again. Ham called for the challenge with 3:41 left in the fourth quarter when Davis was called for a foul on Tatum and the Lakers took a 96-95 lead. The challenge was successful and the call was overturned, but Hamm didn’t challenge the rest of the time to deal with James’ buzzer-beating layup attempt.

Davis called on officials to take more responsibility.

“I guarantee it would be a lot better if refs started getting fined for missed calls,” Davis said. “But nothing can be done.”

Lewis also called two technical fouls against the Lakers, one on Dennis Schroder in the third quarter, after he was called for borrowing a camera from a courtside photographer at the start of overtime. Tatum and Beverly fell to the ground for fouls. Show digital evidence of Tatum making contact with James at the end of the fourth quarter.

“His actions were not appropriate to address grievances about a non-call,” Lewis said of Beverly Tech in an associate report.

Boston beat Los Angeles 8-2 in the first minute of overtime and didn’t look back, clinging to the win.

“You’re still thinking about that,” Davis said of the legacy of missed calls. “Honestly, you shouldn’t even be in that situation. You shouldn’t be in overtime.”

The loss leaves the Lakers in 13th place in the Western Conference with a 23-27 record. A 27-23 record would put them at the top of the standings if they had won their last four games, as they contested the Dallas, Philadelphia, Sacramento and Boston referees. 4 in the West.

“It’s one of the best games we’ve played all year, and it’s ridiculous for other people to judge or not judge it,” James said. “It’s ridiculous.”

Source link