Giannis Antetokounmpo Calls Out Officiating After Close Loss to Lakers

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks

Getty Giannis Antetokounmpo being defended by Anthony Davis.

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks wasn’t too happy after the Bucks’ 128-124 double-overtime home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on March 26.

Antetokounmpo expressed his frustration after the game after the officials didn’t call a foul on the Lakers’ Anthony Davis on a missed alley-oop layup with 2.0 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 101.

“Yeah, I don’t know. Khris [Middleton] threw the ball. I went up to get the ball,” Antetokounmpo told reporters. The replay shows Davis stumbling while holding on to Antetokounmpo in the paint, but a grinning Antetokounmpo appeared to choose his words carefully about the no-call. “I really don’t want to get fined, you know, um, but, I went up to get the ball and for some reason, I wasn’t able to get the ball and wasn’t able to end the game.”

A converted free throw would’ve won the game, but the Lakers went on to outscore the Bucks 27-23 in the two overtime periods.

Best Win of the Season for the Lakers

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Lakers, playing without LeBron James, trailed 88-74 but outscored the Bucks 27-13, tying the game on two Taurean Prince free throws with 43.2 seconds left in regulation.

“That was huge. Huge win for the team. Everybody pitched in,” the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell told reporters after the game, praising head coach Darvin Ham for his late-game play calling. “Darvin was amazing, man. He drew up some great sets for us at the end of the game and gave us some good looks. I think emotionally, we were all put in on that one. Everybody was two feet in on that game wanting to do whatever it took.”

Davis led the team with 34 points and 16 rebounds, while Russell and Austin Reaves each added 29 points, as well as 12 and 10 assists, respectively.

With the win, the Lakers are 40-32, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference, two games behind the Phoenix Suns with 10 games to play.

The Bucks Could’ve Won Despite the Officiating

Antetokounmpo and the Bucks looked to be walking to an easy win heading into the fourth quarter. While a free throw disparity for the Lakers was on full display again, taking 32 free throws compared with the Bucks’ 17, Milwaukee should’ve won the game with relative ease after holding a big lead.

The Bucks should’ve never allowed the referees to make any calls that benefit the Lakers, and that did happen down the stretch. In an even more surprising stat, Davis and Russell combined for 102 minutes and just one foul.

However, there were other reasons the Bucks lost that game outside of officiating. Bucks head coach Doc Rivers believed the lack of trust in passing was a key reason for the loss, according to Nehm.

“We didn’t trust the pass tonight. A lot of zero-pass shots or one-pass shots and when we play like that – we get away with it sometimes because guys make shots – but we lost our trust.”

The Bucks fell to 46-26 but held on to their two-game edge on the Cleveland Cavaliers for second place in the Eastern Conference.

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