The Los Angeles Lakers contacted the NBA league office on Tuesday about what they saw as numerous missed foul calls in Monday’s 108-107 loss to the Miami Heat, sources told ESPN.
The main point of contention for the Lakers is how LeBron James According to sources, the official was. The Lakers shared several clips showing what they believed to be clear illegal contact by Heat defenders against James that went unnoticed by the referees.
James attempted four free throws against Miami, dropping his season average to 5.7 attempts, which would be a single-season career low if held. The four-time league MVP fouled on just 6% of his drives this season, according to Second Spectrum data, which is the eighth-lowest rate among 34 players to record 70 or more drives in 2023-24.
James brought up his free throw total after Monday’s game, unhappy with the way the officiating crew interpreted the non-call.
A missed call James mentioned — the heat station Thomas Bryant His face making contact when he missed a dunk attempt with 1:01 left in the third quarter — was one of the clips the Lakers shared with the NBA, sources said.
“What they’re telling me is not consistent with what’s actually happening on the floor,” James said. “When I went to try to dunk against Thomas Bryant, he clearly elbowed — like, arm straight over my face. And I asked him for an explanation — well, one of the refs said he was straight, arm straight up in the air. . Two refs said they were blocked and didn’t see it.”
Lakers coach Darvin Ham was assessed his first technical foul of the season — and just the third of his career — with 39 seconds left in the third quarter to argue for a non-call against James.
“I’m watching Bron shoot four free throws,” Hamm said after the game, “and every time he attacks the rim, how many times he slaps his hands, which I see as plain as day, he’s going to get called no, man… he flops. Not doing it. I see him going into a strong hole.”
The Lakers marked a sequence midway through the second quarter when it was the Heat guard Duncan Robinson James pushed back while the 19-time All-Star pushed the ball in transition and no call was made, sources said.
“I mean, I don’t know what to do [say]”, ” said a frustrated James after losing to Los Angeles to go 3-4 this season. “I respectfully go to them and tell them what’s going on in the plays, and I consistently go to the line three or four times. The play sometimes not even at all, which is weird.”
James has attempted four free throws or fewer in three of the Lakers’ seven games this season, including four in Monday’s game at Miami.
“So just keep driving, put pressure on the rim and see if it spins,” James said. “But we had some tough break calls tonight, and tonight just wasn’t in our favor.”