The Los Angeles Lakers suffered what is likely their worst loss of the season so far on Monday night against the Golden State Warriors.
Despite leading by as many as 19 points and holding a double-digit lead for a majority of the game, lackluster offensive performances from LeBron James and Anthony Davis and breakdowns on defense led to a collapse.
While subpar play — especially in the fourth quarter — is the biggest reason for the Lakers loss, there were also some unfriendly whistles that took away momentum and gave it to the Warriors.
The most notable was a back-to-back sequence in which James was called for a travel, but Draymond Green was not despite clearly doing so. It occurred late in the fourth and was the difference between a tied game and a four-point Warriors lead.
James was unhappy with both decisions, given that he feels there’s inconsistency throughout the league on what is and isn’t a travel. “I don’t know. I saw them on replays, and it’s a move I’ve been making pretty much my whole career,” he said.
“If that’s the call that’s going to be called travel, then I would like to see it across the board. Every game, consistent like that. It’s so funny because the very next play, Draymond gets into the lane and slides his foot, and it’s not called.
“The same official who called me for the travel is right there on the play and told me he didn’t travel. That’s definitely something that I’ve got to be more leery about, but I have not been called for travels like that in my career.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel — who cleverly wanted to avoid a fine — dismissed any talk about the officials. “I don’t have anything to say about the officiating,” he answered when asked about a technical foul assessed to him.
While officiating is not the reason the Lakers lost, it is disappointing to see inconsistent calls within a game. If Green was called for his fairly obvious travel, and the Lakers still lose, it’s unlikely that there would have been any complaints.
James says Lakers couldn’t get back into rhythm
The Lakers allowing the Warriors to build confidence and make a comeback made it difficult for them to flip the switch when they needed to. James felt this was one of the biggest reasons for the loss.
“It just slowed everything down. We couldn’t get back into a rhythm after the game was slowed down a little bit, and they did a great job of countering that,” he said. “It’s something we can learn from. It’s always great to have games like that.”
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