HOUSTON — The Los Angeles Lakers discovered themselves so frustrated by the officiating within the second half of Thursday’s 126-111 loss to the Houston Rockets that a number of gamers, LeBron James and Lonzo Ball amongst them, purposely held their arms behind their backs on a sequence of defensive possessions to make some extent to the referees.

“Simply attempting to defend with out fouling,” stated James, who briefly locked his arms behind his physique on a Rockets possession within the third quarter. “That is some extent of emphasis any time you play Houston. They bought guys that may promote calls actually good — Chris [Paul] and James [Harden] — so you bought to strive to hold your arms out of the cookie jar.”

  • Harden possesses a deep bag of tips, all designed to drive defenders loopy and get the reigning MVP to the road at an historic clip.

  • James Harden had 50 factors, 10 rebounds and 11 assists — the report fourth 50-point triple-double of his profession — to assist the Rockets beat the Lakers 126-111 Thursday night time.

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The Rockets have been known as for extra fouls than the Lakers general (24-21), however Houston took extra free throws (32-27), led by Harden’s 18-for-19 night time and Paul’s 5-for-6 exhibiting from the stripe. Within the groups’ earlier assembly, a 124-115 Houston win on Oct. 20, Harden went 11-for-15 on free throws and Paul went 7-for-9.

Harden got here into the sport ranked second within the league with 9.four free throw makes an attempt per recreation, and he doubled that output in opposition to the Lakers en route to a 50-point triple-double, including 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

“You possibly can’t contact them,” Ball stated, expressing further indignation on the two instances Josh Hart was known as for a foul whereas Harden was trying a Three-pointer.

“I used to be simply attempting not to foul at this time,” he continued. “They have been calling it tight at this time, so I used to be simply attempting to get my arms out of there. … It’s totally powerful staying in entrance of [Harden] along with your arms like that.”

Lakers coach Luke Walton and Kyle Kuzma have been each known as for technical fouls on the night time, and Walton admitted his crew misplaced its cool.

“Whether or not I used to be frustrated with some calls, or Harden making some pictures, I assumed we might’ve performed a greater job of holding our composure as a gaggle,” Walton stated. “I believe that is an excellent studying expertise for us as we strive to prep for changing into a kind of crew that may win towards the top of the 12 months. Now we have to have the option to achieve powerful environments and when issues aren’t moving into our favor. And the one approach to learn the way to do that’s to undergo it. And I assumed tonight was an instance that we might’ve performed issues higher.”

Walton stated it was not a part of his recreation plan to have his gamers conceal their arms on the defensive finish.

“How exhausting is it to play protection like that? It is powerful,” Walton stated. “I believe they have been simply attempting to make some extent: ‘We’re not utilizing our arms right here. Cease calling fouls.’ However we won’t, whether or not we get frustrated or not, we won’t let that have an effect on us going underneath screens or us not speaking … which I assumed we might’ve performed a greater job of tonight.”

Kuzma famous that he did not see his Three-pointer with 9.9 seconds remaining within the third quarter go in as a result of he was “knocked down.” No foul was known as, prompting Walton to get on the officers and earn his tech.

To Kuzma, the discrepancy was apparent.

“To defend them, you simply cannot contact them,” Kuzma stated. “So simply attempting not to contact them.”

And what concerning the no-call when he bought knocked down?

“To avoid wasting my cash, I do not learn about that one,” he stated. “It is going to occur, particularly on the highway. My faculty coach at all times used to say, particularly on highway video games, you are taking part in 16,000-18,000 on 15. So it is going to occur on the highway.”

L.A. trailed Houston 90-88 heading into the fourth quarter and was outscored 36-23 within the remaining body. Harden went 5-for-5 from the road within the fourth, whereas the Lakers tried zero free throws as a crew.

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