NBA

Lakers seething after missed call leads to loss against Celtics

Lakers seething after missed call leads to loss against Celtics

BOSTON — The main referee at the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 125-121 loss in overtime against the Celtics on Saturday he admitted there was a foul shot Jayson Tatum against lebron james in the final seconds of regulation, leaving LA reeling from another shutout loss.

The Lakers had a golden opportunity to knock off the league-leading Celtics when James drove to the hoop with the score tied with 4.0 seconds left. He got all the way to the basket when he attempted a left-handed layup and Tatum hit his arm, missing the shot just before time expired.

James immediately turned to the referee standing along the end line, grabbing his arm to indicate where the contact occurred. He jumped up and down, hit the hardwood, put his hands to his head in disbelief, and finally fell to his knees in the paint and put his head in his arms on the floor.

“There was contact,” crew chief Eric Lewis told a reporter from the pool after the game. “At the time, during the game, we didn’t see a foul. The crew missed the play.”

The admission was the latest in what the Lakers see as a series of bad plays in their games, reminiscent of recent losses to Dallas, Philadelphia and Sacramento when the calls did not go in their favor.

“[Tatum] he fouled him. He fouled him. clearly Clearly,” he said Anthony Davis. “They’re bulls—… It’s unacceptable. And I guarantee you nothing will happen to the refs. We were cheated tonight, honestly. It’s a flagrant foul. . . It’s unacceptable, to be honest. The refs were bad. They were mean tonight.”

James, who entered the night sixth in the league in scoring at 30.2 points per game, is averaging 6.2 free throw attempts per game, the fewest among the league’s top eight scorers.

“It’s a challenge,” James said, after finishing with 41 points on 15-of-30 shooting. “I don’t get it. I’m attacking the paint, just like any of the guys in this league who shoot double-digit free throws per night, and I don’t get it. I don’t get it. .”

James attempted six free throws against the Celtics and LA shot 20 as a team. The Celtics nearly doubled that amount, going 34 of 39. He said the disappointing trade streak makes it look like his team is headed.

“I watch basketball every day,” he said. “I watch games every day. And I don’t see it happening to anybody else. It’s weird.”

Lakers coach Darvin Ham, normally reluctant to criticize the officiating, also couldn’t deny the impact the referees had on Saturday’s outcome.

“As much as you try not to put it in the craft, it gets harder and harder,” Ham said. “The best player in the world can’t get a call. It’s unbelievable.”

Ham called for more consistency from referees, noting how Jaylen Brown he was awarded an i-1 free throw and the officials called a foul Patrick Beverley in the play before James’ last second. He also said that James’ strength and physicality work against him.

“[He] plays a strong, physical brand of basketball and just because he doesn’t flop or fall or scream when he shoots the ball, like I see a lot of other players do, he gets penalized for that,” Ham. said. “I saw the same with Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. I saw the same thing when I was a Shaq player [O’Neal] was Those guys that play physical and really try to focus on finishing plays, sometimes it doesn’t go their way. But then you see other guys whining at every shot or every time they get hit … and they’re the ones getting the whistles.”

The Lakers, disillusioned, sounded several adjustments that could be made to improve the trade. Ham suggested having four umpires, or changing the challenge rule where if a coach uses it and is successful, the coach can use it again. Ham called a challenge with 3:41 left in the fourth quarter when Davis was fouled on Tatum, with the Lakers leading 96-95. The challenge was successful and the call was overturned, but Ham had no challenge left to implement on James’ layup attempt at the buzzer.

Davis called for more accountability from officials.

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

Lewis also called two technical fouls against the Lakers, one against Dennis Schroder in the third quarter for falling to the floor in response to being called for a foul on Tatum and Beverley at the start of OT for borrowing a camera from one of the courtside photographers to show digital evidence that Tatum went contact James at the end of the track. the fourth

“His actions were inadequate to address the resentment of a no-call,” Lewis said of Beverley’s tech in a pool report.

Boston outscored LA 8-2 in the first minute of overtime and never looked back, holding on for the win.

“You’re still thinking about it,” Davis said of the carryover effect of the missed call. “You’re not even supposed to be in that situation, to be honest. You’re not supposed to play overtime.”

The loss dropped the Lakers to 23-27, 13th in the Western Conference. Had they won their four recent home opener games against Dallas, Philadelphia, Sacramento and Boston, a 27-23 record would have placed them in fourth place in the West.

“It’s one of the best games we’ve played all year, and for it to come down to someone else’s judgment or lack of judgment is ridiculous,” James said. “It’s ridiculous.”



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