The fourth quarter of Saturday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics ended in controversy when LeBron James drove to the basket in a tie game. Normally, one may read that and think that LeBron benefited from a questionable foul call. More often than not, that would probably be the correct interpretation. This time, though, it was the exact opposite.
Things were already wild down the stretch of the fourth quarter. Los Angeles broke a late tie with a tremendous putback dunk from Patrick Beverley. Boston tied the game later, when Jaylen Brown made a basket down three, was awarded a debatable and-one, then made the game-tying field goal. The Lakers, though, still had time to break the tie and seemed poised to do just that.
LeBron James was clearly fouled with a chance to win the Lakers-Celtics game, but the refs didn't call it. He was not happy. 🏀 pic.twitter.com/Y5kBjTHg1o
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) January 29, 2023
Announcer Jeff Van Gundy blasted the officials for missing the clear foul call.
"This is exactly why replay was instituted. If we can't review THAT, then to me, replay serves no purpose in our game."- Jeff Van Gundy https://t.co/g7Z7aMelvb
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 29, 2023
Van Gundy was not the only person to criticize the no-call. Basketball fans everywhere were quite frustrated with the blatant miss.
Terrible officiating down the stretch in Lakers-Celtics. What’s the point of having replay if that obvious foul by the Celtics on the LeBron layup can’t be reviewed?
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) January 29, 2023
Clear foul. Huge miss by the refs. Outcome changer.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) January 29, 2023
Refs blind as a bat call the foul!!!
— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) January 29, 2023
That’s BULLJIVE!!!!!! That’s a FOUL
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) January 29, 2023
Now THAT was a foul. Not called.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) January 29, 2023
Even The Ringer’s Bill Simmons, a noted Celtics fan and Laker-hater, criticized the no-call, albeit in sarcastic fashion.
Great non-call — the arm is part of the ball, everyone knows this.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) January 29, 2023
Boston led throughout overtime and came away with a 125-121 win.
[Photo Credit: ESPN]