The LA Clippers showcased their peak performance alongside James Harden, yet their efforts fell short against the reigning champions, the Denver Nuggets. According to Paul George, the officiating crew became a significant obstacle.
The Clippers’ standout player expressed vehement dissatisfaction with the referees following the Nuggets’ 111-108 victory at Ball Arena on Tuesday night.
Despite George’s stellar performance of 35 points and seven rebounds, the Clippers suffered their sixth consecutive loss, marking their fifth defeat since Harden joined the team.
George voiced his frustration, believing he deserved more than the five trips to the free-throw line sanctioned by the officiating trio of Josh Tiven, Natalie Sago, and Matt Boland.
His discontent escalated when he received a technical foul for disputing a missed breakaway dunk he asserted was fouled during the second quarter.
George expressed his thoughts on the game, acknowledging the team’s effort despite facing challenges. “I believe we put up a strong performance,” he remarked. “
It’s always tricky dealing with the added pressure of facing more officials on the court. Their officiating was subpar. Nevertheless, playing against the defending champions, we need to elevate our game.
There are plenty of positives to take away from this match. While I’m not one to celebrate moral victories, tonight displayed a glimpse of a team on the verge of a breakthrough.”
During the game, the Clippers overturned a 13-point disadvantage and held a seven-point lead with just six minutes left in the fourth quarter. The game intensified towards the end, with George attempting a contested 3-pointer in the final seconds that ended up lodged between the rim’s side and the backboard.
Following the jump ball loss to Nikola Jokic (who scored 32 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and dished nine assists), Denver managed to run down the clock for the win. George pointed out the discrepancy in free throw attempts, expressing dissatisfaction, especially regarding his performance.
“The way the game wrapped up was disappointing,” George stated. “Only five free throws for me tonight felt disrespectful. On numerous occasions, I felt contact during layups and 3-point attempts, repeatedly getting hit on the forearm. The officiating needed to be improved, plain and simple.
However, we must beat them on their home court without relying on external factors. Consistency in officiating is essential; it should be the same on both ends of the court.”