The Houston Rockets and the LA Lakers went toe-to-toe in a rematch of last Sunday’s game in Houston. The Lakers’ 119-117 win was marred by a refereeing controversy that almost cost the star-studded Purple and Gold team the win.
In a post-game interview, Anthony Davis explained that the bizarre error on the referees' and table officials’ part could have reversed the outcome of the game.
Here’s how the Lakers’ All-Star center explained what happened (via Spectrum SportsNet Twitter handle):
“What we were explaining to the refs was we lost a possession. We didn’t take the ball out or anything. We shot free throws and they took points away. Now we just lost the entire possession which could have cost us the game. They said there was nothing they could do about it and stuff like that. Good thing it didn’t hurt us, but that was a funky situation.”
Anthony Davis was referring to an incident late in the fourth quarter when officials took two points away from two made free-throws by Kent Bazemore. Bazemore was awarded the freebies because the Houston Rockets were initially called for their fifth team foul.
Upon review, officials belatedly realized that the Rockets were a foul short of a bonus situation. Hence, the two points were removed from the Lakers’ total.
In a close game, those two points could have been the biggest difference between a loss, overtime and a win.
Why are the LA Lakers struggling early into the season?
The LA Lakers are still trying to adjust to each other. LeBron James has also missed some time because of injury. It’ll take time for this team to be consistent on both ends of the floor.
Having said that, there are pressing issues that the Lakers will have to answer to get into a groove. They are currently fifth in the league in points allowed at 112.6 a game. They are also one of the league leaders in turnovers. These two basic stats don’t tell the whole story, but they somehow summarize the team’s struggles.
In last Sunday’s game against the Houston Rockets, the LA Lakers held their opponents to an 85-point total. Jalen Green, Kevin Porter and the rest of the team torched the Lakers for 70 points in the first half alone.
The LA Lakers did a better job in the second half, but they had already given the Rockets all the confidence they needed.
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LeBron James and Anthony Davis setting the tone defensively will be a big start for the La Lakers. And with the games that come in, they should be able to sort out their chemistry issues and lessen their turnovers.