Warriors Coach Steve Kerr Says Lakers Were ‘Rewarded’ With Illegal Screen Calls In Game 4 Win
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In a back-and-forth battle like the Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 4 victory over the Golden State Warriors, every single moment could have an impact on the final score. And for Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, some moments from the late stages of the game stick out.

Namely, three illegal screen calls that went against Moses Moody, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the final minutes of the third and throughout the fourth quarter. In the moment, the Warriors opted not to challenge any of the three calls, but were clearly frustrated by them.

Following the game, Kerr credited the huge fourth-quarter performance of Lonnie Walker IV — who scored 15 points and lifted L.A. to the win — but focused largely on those three illegal screen calls and how the Lakers managed to draw them.

“I thought the fourth was about [Lonnie] Walker, and it was about — I think we had three or four illegal screens called, and that was disappointing,” Kerr said. “I didn’t get a look at the replay on any of them, but there were a couple that were very disappointing live.

“But the Lakers are a team that plays with a lot of gamesmanship. They understand how to generate some calls. I thought they took some flops and were rewarded. But I’ll have to see the replays. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe those were all illegal screens, but it didn’t feel like it watching the game.”

Throughout this Western Conference semifinals series, the topic of officiating has been ever-present. The Lakers — who have led the NBA in fouls drawn all season — are now being criticized for their ability to draw fouls.

Specifically on the three illegal screens, the Warriors were well within their rights to use a challenge. On the Green illegal screen, he pleaded with Kerr to challenge it, but his assistant coaches advised against it, likely because it had a low chance of being overturned.

The bigger focus of the fourth quarter was certainly Walker, whose 15 points were the most by a Lakers reserve in the fourth quarter of a playoff game since Kobe Bryant did it on the same date in 1997. And with the lift from Walker, the Lakers have a 3-1 lead heading back to San Francisco.

Walker calls fourth quarter “greatest feeling”

It’s hard to imagine a better feeling than being an integral part of a massive playoff victory, especially after being effectively removed from the rotation for several weeks prior. Walker showed up in the biggest way, and was excited to discuss it afterward.

“The greatest feeling you could ever, ever imagine,” Walker said of his performance. “As a kid, this is something I’ve been dreaming of doing. Not just being a part of the playoffs, but impacting it, let alone winning in the playoffs. I’m truly proud of myself. It really shows my capabilities and just my mental fortitude.”

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