After starting out the new year red hot, the Los Angeles Lakers have cooled off significantly. They won four straight games at the beginning of January (five-straight, including a win on December 30), but since then, have gone just 4-6.
Their most recent loss to the Boston Celtics, on January 28, was an absolute heartbreaker, as LeBron James had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. However, he was fouled on the arm by Jayson Tatum, but the referees missed the call. After the game, Tatum spoke about the incident, cracking a smile and saying that the last few minutes were “a blur.”
“The last two minutes and overtime was a blur,” Tatum said via CLNS Media. “I don’t really know what happened. I gotta watch the game, watch the film. Because everything was just happening so fast. But we moved on and got the win. That’s all I got to say about that.”
Almost immediately after the game, the NBA admitted that they got the call wrong. They said that there should have been a foul called on Tatum which would have put James at the line with very little time left on the clock and a chance to put the Lakers ahead.
No-call aside, James put up some impressive numbers against the Celtics. He ended the game with a game-high 41 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists on 15-of-30 shooting from the field and 6-of-12 shooting from behind the three-point line.
As for Tatum, he also dropped a decent statline. The Celtics superstar ended the night with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists on 8-of-25 from the floor and 3-of-10 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
LeBron James Sounds Off on Missed Call vs. Celtics
While Tatum was fine with the no-call in the end, James was obviously furious. He broke down on the court after the end of regulation in a fit of rage, and after the game, he expressed his disappointment with the officials.
James noted that he believes the Lakers have been screwed by the referees way too often in recent weeks.
“It’s been building. I mean you guys [have] seen some of the games that we’ve lost this year with late-game missed calls,” James said via CLNS Media. “We had an opportunity to literally win the game. I mean, that’s… This is the second one in the last few weeks for myself. Against Dallas, [we] had an opportunity to win the game if the foul was called. K-Nunn [Kendrick Nunn] the other day had an opportunity to tie the game if the four-point play is called. I don’t understand. I don’t understand what we’re doing and I watch basketball every single day. I watch these games every single day and I don’t see it happening to nobody else. It’s just weird.”
LeBron James Discusses No-Call on Jayson Tatum
In addition to his broader comments about the officiating, James also delivered a rant about the no-call at the end of the fourth against Boston.
“You saw my reaction,” James said. “Challenging. I don’t get it. I’m attacking the paint just as much as any of these other guys in this league shooting double-digit free throws a night. I don’t get it. I don’t understand.”