The Los Angeles Lakers fell to 3-4 following their 108-107 loss to the Miami Heat on November 7 in a contest that did not sit well with LeBron James. Not just for the loss, but also for what he and the Lakers believe were several missed foul calls in the one-point affair.
James finished with 30 points, four rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and one steal.
L.A. sent clips to the league office for further review. But the Last 2-Minute report came back clean, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel which drew a reaction from James.
“The game isn’t won or lost in the last 2 mins,” James exclaimed in a post on X on November 7. “If you know the game things happen throughout the 1st, 2nd. 3rd and first 10 mins of 4th that has MAJOR impact on outcomes.”
“The Lakers’ main point of contention is how LeBron James was officiated, according to sources,” wrote ESPN’s Dave McMenamin on November 7. “The Lakers shared various clips showing what they believe to be clear illegal contact by Heat defenders against James that went unnoticed by the referees.”
James attempted just four free throws on the night. That ties a season-low mark. It also keeps him on pace to tie his career-low for attempts per game in a single season (5.7). He has averaged that many attempts two other times in his career.
Both have come since he joined the Lakers.
“The explanations of what they’re telling me are not consistent with what’s actually happening on the floor,” James said via House of Highlights on November 6.
James’ 6.2 free throw attempts per game as a Laker are fewer than either of his Heat (7.8) or Cleveland Cavaliers (8.2) tenures. With 16 fouls drawn in seven games, James would match his 2003-04 total (187) if he appeared in all 82 games. That is unlikely with his injury history in what is his age-39 season.
Even if he did, however, that would tie the fifth-fewest he has ever drawn in an entire season.
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James’ time with the Heat was in the spotlight with the contest. The 21-year veteran won two championships in his four seasons in South Beach. But James also believes his legacy would have been the same even if he never joined the Heat. James has been candid about leaving the Cavaliers because he couldn’t recruit players to join him in Cleveland.
He later clarified he might have less hardware without the Heat but little else would change.
“You damn right I would still be,” James exclaimed in an earlier post on X. “I’m CHOSEN! Ain’t nothing changing that! Maybe less [rings] but DOMINANT from start to finish.”
He was able to help raise a banner after leaving he Heat. James guided the Lakers to their 17th NBA championship in 2020.
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It is just another feather in the Nuggets star’s cap. His team has won three of their last five regular-season meetings. The Nuggets also eliminated the Lakers in last year’s Western Conference Finals, sweeping James and Co. on their way to the championship.