Thanks in large part to the efforts of Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to leave Staples Center with a three-point victory over the Charlotte Hornets. But within the victory was another blown lead for the Lakers as they led by double-digits in the fourth quarter, but needed overtime to come away with a win.
One reason for this was a confusing moment in the fourth which led to five straight free throws for LaMelo Ball, cutting the Lakers lead from nine to four. Frank Vogel sought to challenge a foul call, but apparently didn’t do so in time. There was then a delay of game, followed by technical foul calls on Anthony and Russell Westbrook, leading to the free throws from Ball and completely changing the outlook of the game.
Carmelo himself wasn’t even quite sure what happened. “Shit, I don’t know, we got two techs,” Anthony said after the contest.
“It was a lot going on at that particular moment. It was just a lot of passion, a lot of yelling, a lot of screaming trying to figure it out. LaMelo got five free throws, so that was a big part of the game, especially coming down the stretch.”
While the frustration in the moment was understandable, it could have cost the Lakers the game. Davis stressed the need for the Lakers to better control their emotions in those times.
“Yeah, a lot of games this year, we lost because we beat ourselves, whether it was turnovers or not being able to score the basketball, breaking down defensively,” Davis said after the game. But we thought that it was a clean strip, it wasn’t a foul and I think Frank was trying to challenge it, but [LaMelo] had the ball already. And so we were arguing that, that we want the challenge it and when he had the ball, Melo walked across the lane.
“We already had a delay [of game] and they gave Melo a tech for talking, a tech for the delay and then Russ ended up getting a tech. And I was just trying to tell the guys like, we had no time for a situation like that. I understand that frustration, but at the same time, we’re giving him free points and he made all five. So that kind of just drained us a little bit, gave them hope, gave them confidence to still be in the game. We had like a nine-point lead or something like that. So we got to do a better job of controlling our emotions in all situations.”
Davis makes a good point in that the Lakers must do a better job in those situations of not letting things get too out of hand. Furthermore, his stepping up and speaking to his team in that moment is proof of his growth as a leader.
Thankfully the Lakers were able to still get that victory and incidents like these are learning experiences for them as a team. But Davis is right in that the Lakers must keep these things in check and not allow them to get out of control.
Westbrook says official screamed at him during incident
Westbrook was one of the Lakers to receive a technical foul within that entire scene, and the point guard is known for his passion and emotions on the court. But Westbrook revealed that an official screamed at him initially, which he didn’t take kindly to.
“They called a tech and then the ref was a little, he probably was a little upset I don’t know why, but he screamed at me and I told him don’t scream at me. Like, I’m not your kid,” Westbrook said. “I got kids of my own. Don’t talk to me like I’m your child. So he gave me a tech. I’m OK with that, but at least they understand that I understand there’s heated moments, but I don’t do that. We all grown men and if I talk to you with respect, the ref should do the same.”
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