The Boston Celtics emerged victorious in a nail-biting matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night, ultimately securing a 125-121 victory. However, the game could have ended quite differently had a crucial call been made in the final moments of the match.
A Missed Opportunity
With the score tied at 105-105 and mere seconds remaining in the regular part of the game, Lakers star LeBron James had a clear path to the basket for a layup. However, the shot was not accurate, and no foul was called on Celtics player Jayson Tatum despite clear contact.
The non-call incensed James, who walked after the referee and threw himself on the floor in frustration.
Por esta falta a Lebron James que los árbitros no han pitado cuando quedaba 1 segundo de partido e iban empate a 105 puntos contra Boston Celtics
Al final, los Lakers han perdido 121 a 125 en la prórroga pic.twitter.com/ZcSyelGXCm — Explicando TTs (@ExplicandoTTe) January 29, 2023
Referee Admits Mistake
After the game, crew chief Eric Lewis admitted to a pool reporter that the referees had missed the foul, stating, "There was contact.
At the time, during the game, we did not see a foul. The crew missed the play."
Lakers Players Speak Out
James and his teammate Anthony Davis were vocal in their disappointment with the officials' decision, with Davis saying, "It's bulls---.
... It's unacceptable. And I guarantee nothing is going to happen to the refs. We got cheated tonight, honestly. It's a blatant foul. ... It's unacceptable, to be honest. The refs were bad. They were bad tonight." James echoed these sentiments, saying, "I don't get it.
I'm attacking the paint, just as much as any of the guys in this league that's shooting double-digit free throws a night, and I don't get it. I don't understand it. I watch basketball every single day. And I don't see it happening to nobody else.
It's just weird."
Calls for Accountability
Both James and Davis called for more accountability from officials, with Davis suggesting, "I guarantee that if the refs started getting fined for missed calls, it would be a lot better." Despite the disappointment with the missed call, James was still the most effective player on the defeated team, finishing with 41 points on 15-for-30 shooting.
The Celtics were led by Jaylen Brown's impressive 37 points. James reflected on the game, saying, "It's one of the best games we've played all year, and for it to fall on somebody else's judgment or nonjudgment is ridiculous. It's ridiculous."
The Los Angeles Lakers' Winning Streak Comes to a Halt Against the New York Knicks
LeBron James Sets Sights on Playoffs for Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Kings 6:0 Pittsburgh Penguins: Reactions
The Los Angeles Lakers Complete a 3-Team Trade to Part Ways with Russell Westbrook
Carolina Hurricanes beat the Los Angeles Kings 5:4: REACTIONS
LeBron James: love and criticism of the Los Angeles Lakers