To say it was a controversial ending in the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Boston Celtics would be an understatement.
On the final possession of regulation tied at 105, the Lakers had the ball coming out of a timeout. With four seconds left, LeBron James drove hard going left and got all the way to the rim where he was clearly hit across the arm by Jayson Tatum on his layup attempt. However, the officials failed to blow the whistle much to the dismay of James and the rest of the Los Angeles bench.
The game quickly got out of hand in overtime as Jaylen Brown scored at will to put the Lakers away. It’s a gut-wrenching loss for Los Angeles who deserved a chance to win the game outright in the fourth quarter, but instead now have to stew over this for the next couple of days.
After the game, Anthony Davis was beyond upset and ripped the officials for their performance, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic:
“Foul. Foul. Clearly. It’s bullshit. But at the end of the day, like, it’s unacceptable and I guarantee nothing will happen to the refs. We got cheated tonight, honestly. It’s a blatant foul. Pat got all ball on Jaylen Brown, called foul. LeBron gets smacked across his arm, it’s unacceptable to be honest. The refs were bad, they were bad tonight.”
It’s hard to disagree with Davis, who was just as angry with the no-call as the rest of the team and coaching staff. The baseline referee had a clear view of the foul when it occurred, yet somehow didn’t see it or simply chose not to blow the whistle.
James was also obviously unhappy with the officiating and how he is reffed in general compared to other stars across the league, via Buha:
“It’s challenging. I don’t get it. I don’t get it. I’m attacking the paint just as much as any of the guys in this league that are shooting double-digit free throws every night. I just don’t get it. I don’t understand it.,, It’s been building. You guys have seen some of the games that we’ve lost this year where there’s late-game miss calls. We had an opportunity to win the game. It’s the second one in the last two weeks for myself – against Dallas I had an opportunity to win the game with a foul that wasn’t called. [Kendrick] Nunn the other day had an opportunity to tie the game when a four-point play wasn’t called. I don’t understand what we’re doing [wrong]. I watch basketball every single day, I watch these games every single day and I don’t see it happening to anybody else. It’s just weird.”
As James pointed out, this has happened a few times to the Lakers in just the last couple of weeks. In a crowded Western Conference every win matters, but the Lakers will just have to continue trying to fight through adversity to pick up much-needed wins.
Officials admit to missed foul call on James
The NBA almost immediately admitted they missed the foul on the play, but that does no good for Los Angeles who suffers another loss on the record regardless. Players and coaches throughout the season have voiced their displeasure with the officiating, but that has fallen on deaf ears as the league has yet to take any action to rectify it.
Hopefully, some change is spurred after such a ridiculous outcome, though fans probably shouldn’t hold their breath.
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