In a fiery post-game rant, Toronto Raptors head coach Darko Rajaković expressed outrage at the officiating after his team’s narrow 132-131 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers. The coach was particularly incensed by the significant free throw disparity, with the Lakers attempting 36 free throws compared to the Raptors’ 13. In the crucial fourth quarter alone, the Lakers shot 23 free throws, while the Raptors only had two opportunities from the line.
“This is outrageous. This is completely B.S.,” Rajaković exclaimed. “Shame for the referees. Shame for the league to allow this. Twenty-three free throws for them, and we get two free throws in the fourth quarter? Like, how to play the game?”
The Raptors coach questioned the fairness of the officiating, especially considering star player Scottie Barnes, whom he considers All-Star caliber, received only two free throws for the entire game. The Lakers, led by Anthony Davis with 41 points, capitalized on numerous free throws in the fourth quarter, securing their victory.
Despite Rajaković’s vehement protest, the Lakers prevailed, with LeBron James contributing 22 points, 12 assists, and five rebounds. The win places the Lakers at 19-19, securing the 10th spot in the Western Conference. The Raptors, now 15-22, hold the 11th position in the Eastern Conference.
While Rajaković’s passionate outburst might lead to a hefty fine from the NBA, his players expressed appreciation for his unwavering support. The controversy adds fuel to the ongoing debate about officiating consistency and fairness in the NBA.
*Additional Note:* This news comes on the heels of a noteworthy basketball game, where Anthony Davis played a pivotal role, sinking crucial free throws and contributing significantly to the Lakers’ success. The Raptors, missing key player Jakob Poeltl, put up a strong fight, with impressive performances from RJ Barrett, Pascal Siakam, and others.