In a recent game that saw the Los Angeles Lakers secure a 132-131 victory over the Toronto Raptors, controversy erupted over the disparity in foul calls. Raptors head coach Darko Rajaković criticized the fourth-quarter foul discrepancy, calling it "outrageous" and "shameful" for the league and referees.
In response, Lakers superstar LeBron James defended the officiating in the post-game interview. When asked about Rajaković's complaints, James stated, "I felt like they fouled and we didn't".
Rajaković expressed his frustration at the postgame press conference, pointing out that the Lakers had 23 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter compared to just two for the Raptors. "What happened tonight, this is completely B.S. This is shame. Shame for the referees. Shame for the league to allow this," Rajaković said.
He also questioned the treatment of Raptors' star player Scottie Barnes, who he believes should have received more calls. "How [is it] possible that Scottie Barnes, who is All-Star-caliber player in this league, he goes every single time to the rim with force and trying to get to the rim without flopping and not trying to get foul calls, he gets two free throws for a whole game? How is that possible? How are you going to explain that to me?" Rajaković added.
Despite the lack of calls in their favor, the Raptors managed to score 42 points in the fourth quarter, falling short by just one point. The Lakers, with their significant advantage at the free-throw line, scored 44 points in the final quarter.
The Lakers' Anthony Davis emerged as the star of the game with 41 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. LeBron contributed 22 points, 12 assists, and five boards to the winning effort.
This controversy adds another layer of intrigue to the NBA season, and it will be interesting to see how the league responds to Rajaković's criticisms.