Saturday’s showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics ended in controversy, as LeBron James was fouled near the end of regulation while going up for a potential game-winning layup, yet no call was made.
LeBron gets mauled on a game-winning layup attempt pic.twitter.com/VrOn1QNrr1
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) January 29, 2023
James was visibly livid right after the non-call, and Celtics big man Al Horford’s brother and sister both threw shade at James for his histrionics.
Bron should’ve tried making that layup instead of missing it
— BigBad (@JoshHorford) January 29, 2023
If a foul had been called on Boston star Jayson Tatum, who clearly hacked James’ arm on the play, the four-time MVP would’ve gone to the free-throw line and likely would’ve only needed to make one foul shot to ensure victory.
Instead, the contest went into overtime, where the Celtics put the Lakers away, 125-121.
Shortly after the end of the game, NBA officials reportedly admitted to the Lakers that James was, in fact, hit at the end of regulation and that Tatum should’ve been whistled for a foul.
James did just about all he could to put the Lakers in position to defeat their hated rivals. He scored 41 points on 50 percent shooting while going 6-of-12 from 3-point range, to go along with nine rebounds and eight assists.
However, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, as they shot just 6-of-15 and 4-of-14, respectively. Davis, in particular, failed to exploit numerous matchup advantages down low throughout the night.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, did manage to stop Tatum, as he shot a chilly 8-of-25 from the field and committed six turnovers.
This was the second heartbreaking loss for the Lakers against the Celtics this season. They blew a late 13-point lead against them in December, and this time, they led by 11 points at one point.