BOSTON — It didn’t take long for the NBA to admit what many already knew in the moment in Saturday’s matchup between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.
In a postgame pool report, crew chief Eric Lewis said the referees “missed” a foul call on Jayson Tatum when it seemed evident to the naked eye that he whacked LeBron James on the arm during a potential game-winning layup attempt at the end of regulation.
The Lakers, mostly James, lost their composure after the non-call and Patrick Beverley also made a ridiculous on-court plea by trying to show an official a camera with a picture of the play on it. That action got Beverley a technical as the Celtics went on to win in overtime, 125-121, at TD Garden.
Following the game, Lewis explained the blown call on James as well as the technical called on Beverley.
Here is the full transcript of Lewis’ exchange with pool reporter Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:
Question: Why was Patrick Beverley assessed a technical foul at the end of regulation?
Lewis: “His actions were inappropriate in addressing resentment to a non-call.”
Question: “It looked like he brought a camera out — was he trying to show you something?”
Lewis: “Yes, that was part of his inappropriate actions.”
Question: It looked like there was contact on LeBron?s drive at the end of regulation. Why was there no foul call there and what did you see there?
Lewis: “There was contact. At the time, during the game, we did not see a foul. The crew missed the play.”
Lewis admitting the officials got the call wrong probably will just pour further salt in the wounds of the Lakers. Los Angeles star Anthony Davis had some choice words about the referees following the game when he vented about the non-call.
It sure was a critical turning point in the game and allowed the Celtics to prevail in the extra frame.