The official NBA referees’ Twitter account took accountability for the ‘gut-wrenching’ missed call as LeBron James drove for a potential game-winning shot in the Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Boston Celtics. On Saturday night, the Celtics defeated their rival Lakers 125-121 after overtime.
The Lakers, who are languishing in the Western Conference after a poor start to the season, were pushing the Celtics all the way at the TD Garden in Boston. With the score tied at 105-105, James drove to the basket and was smacked on his shooting arm at the rim by Jayson Tatum as seconds remained.
James’ shot deflected away off the rim and the four-time MVP was incensed. The 38-year-old led the way as the entire Lakers roster and coaching staff erupted in protest at the call; Patrick Beverley even received a technical foul after he showed a photo of the foul on a nearby camera to referee Eric Lewis.
Anthony Davis was equally angered and insisted the Lakers were ‘cheated’ out of the win. James took his frustration out on social media, writing: “That one hurt BIG TIME!!! I don’t understand”
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“This play will weigh heavily and cause sleepless nights as we strive to be the best referees we can be.”
The Lakers fell to the Celtics, who possess the best record in the NBA at 36-15, despite James scoring 41 points to go with nine rebounds and eight assists. He is now just 117 points from usurping Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
The 23-27 Lakers will hope to return to winning way when they travel to the east coast to face the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. Los Angeles confirmed star duo James and Davis would be absent from the clash with the Nets, who are fourth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 30-19.