Lakers coach Luke Walton sounds off on inconsistent officiating after OT loss
Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton ripped a perceived inconsistency in officiating after his team's 143-142 overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.
Walton began his postgame news conference by expressing a broad frustration that the Lakers were not drawing fouls despite scoring a high volume of points in the paint. (They outscored the Spurs in the paint on Monday, 74-50.)
He also argued that fouls were not called on the Spurs on Monday even though they were called on similar plays against the Lakers in their previous game against the Houston Rockets.
"I wasn't going to say anything because I was going to save my money, but I just can't anymore," Walton began. "It's 70-something points in the paint (by the Lakers) to 50-something. (But) again they outshoot us from the free-throw line (38 attempts to 26).
"Watch the play where I got a technical foul on. Watch what happened to LeBron James' arm. It's the same thing that James Harden and Chris Paul shot 30 free throws on us the night before. Then LeBron pulls up on a screen, somebody (is) trying to fight over. Same thing they shot free throws on. Same thing."
Another loss: Lakers' chance for first win with LeBron slips away in OT as they fall to 0-3
The Lakers finished with 29 personal fouls to the Spurs' 26.
It's worth noting James missed two free throws with 12.8 seconds left that would've given the Lakers a three-point lead.
Walton took specific issue with the lack of fouls drawn by guard Josh Hart, who did not shoot a free throw Monday in 39 minutes, even though, from the coach's perspective, "all he does is attack the rim."
"I know they're young, I get that," Walton continued. "But if we are going to play a certain way, let's not reward people for flopping 30 feet from the hole on plays that have nothing to do with that possession. They're just flopping just to see if they get a foul call. And then not reward players that are physically going to the basket and getting hit. It's not right."
When asked about the officiating in Monday's game, and Walton's comments, center JaVale McGee demurred.
"No. I don’t want to lose money," he told reporters. "Whatever (Walton) said, I cosign it. Does that mean I lose money? Hope not."
Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
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