The head referee in the Lakers’ 125-121 overtime loss to the host Boston Celtics on Saturday admitted that Los Angeles star LeBron James was fouled by Jayson Tatum in the final seconds of regulation.
With the game tied at 105-105, James drove to the basket and appeared to get smacked on the arm by Tatum as he attempted a left-handed layup. A foul was not called, however.
“There was contact,” crew chief Eric Lewis said to a pool reporter after the game. “At the time, during the game, we did not see a foul. The crew missed the play.”
LeBron was not happy after this play to win the game. pic.twitter.com/FNMPBQTHox
— ESPN (@espn) January 29, 2023
Lakers star Anthony Davis didn’t mince words when discussing his displeasure with the non-call after the game.
“(Tatum) fouled him. He fouled him. Clearly. Clearly,” Davis said. “It’s (expletive). … 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.”
The Celtics attempted nearly twice as many free throws (39) as the Lakers (20) in the game.
James had 41 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Lakers, who received 16 points and 10 rebounds from Davis. Patrick Beverley added 15 points, five rebounds and five assists as Los Angeles fell for the second time in three games.