Houston Rockets guard James Harden pleaded for a “fair chance” from officials after Houston’s 104-100 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Sunday’s Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
“I’m going to try to be a nice guy because I really don’t want to give the charity to them. I’d rather have my charity have the money,” D’Antoni said, referring to a potential fine for criticizing officiating. “So, I mean, the response was they came in halftime and said they missed them. That’s what they told me. They missed four of them. That’s 12 foul shots. So be it. They’re trying to do the best they can do.”
Harden also thought he got fouled on a pair of 3-point attempts in the second half, including by Draymond Green on a potential game-tying attempt with 7.4 seconds remaining. Klay Thompson was the defender on the other non-calls that upset the Rockets. The Rockets entered the game as underdogs and now face extremely long odds to win the series, needing to win four of the next six games against the defending champions in order to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
“I mean, I just want a fair chance, man,” said Harden, who scored 35 points but was 9-of-28 from the floor and 4-of-16 from behind the 3-point line. “Call the game how it’s supposed to be called, and that’s it. And I’ll live with the results.”
James Harden just wants a fair chance pic.twitter.com/nBVzKr22hg
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 28, 2019
Joe Borgia, the NBA’s senior vice president of replay and referee operations, later told NBA TV that Green did not foul Harden on his last 3 attempt because Green was going across, not into, Harden’s path, and Harden “jackknifed” his body so his feet made contact with Green.
Joe Borgia, NBA Senior Vice President of Replay & Referee Operations, joined @NBATV to discuss two plays from #HOUatGSW and what constitutes a foul in cases of defenders closing out on shooters: pic.twitter.com/wxgVEg6tWB
— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) April 29, 2019
Harden was 13-of-14 from the line, but the Warriors were called for only one foul when he attempted a 3-pointer.
During the second half, Jazz center Rudy Gobert chimed in via Twitter on the inconsistency in how Harden was being officiated.
My guys were not allowed to contest shots like that last week…or maybe i’m crazy and it’s just camera angles 🤔 https://t.co/RvqYdCWzuC
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) April 28, 2019
The Rockets can’t blame the refs for losing, or at least they shouldn’t be.
But it’s about all about posturing and perception in a series like this.
Take better shots. Easier shots.
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