Following the Toronto Raptors’ narrow 132-131 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, head coach Darko Rajakovic expressed strong dissatisfaction with the officiating, suggesting that his comments may lead to a fine from the NBA.
Rajakovic voiced his frustration, particularly regarding the significant free throw disparity in the game. The Lakers attempted 36 free throws, with Anthony Davis alone taking 14, while the entire Raptors team only had 13 attempts. Rajakovic’s critique of the situation hinted at a potential lack of fairness.
“That’s outrageous. What happened tonight, this is completely B.S.,” Rajakovic stated. “This is shame. Shame for the referees. Shame for the league to allow this. Twenty-three free throws for them, and we get two free throws in the fourth quarter? Like, how to play the game? I understand respect for All-Stars and all that, but we have star players on our team as well.”
The coach questioned the discrepancy in free throw opportunities, highlighting the performance of Scottie Barnes, whom he considers an All-Star-caliber player. Rajakovic pointed out that despite Barnes consistently driving to the rim with force and avoiding flopping, he only received two free throws for the entire game.
Expressing his frustration, Rajakovic suggested, “How are you going to explain that to me?”
Later in his remarks, the coach made a provocative statement, suggesting that if the Lakers were meant to win the game, the Raptors should have been informed in advance so they could choose not to participate.
Davis led the Lakers with 41 points, including 20 in the fourth quarter, while LeBron James contributed 22 points and 12 assists. On the Raptors’ side, four starters scored over 20 points each, with seven players reaching double figures, led by 26 points from Barnes and 25 from Pascal Siakam.