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Kings’ Fox heated after controversial foul call — or, calls — give Lakers win

January 8th, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings

Kings players and coaches are convinced they don’t get calls from officials at the end of games because… well, they are Sacramento. It’s not just this season, Kevin Huerter admitted on the Lowe Post Podcast he went down a rabbit hole watching 2002 Western Conference Finals conspiracy theory videos.

Two calls at the end of regulation Saturday that went the Lakers’ way will only fuel that belief.

The Kings’ De’Aaron Fox knocked down a mid-range jumper with 7.4 seconds left on the clock, tying the game. On the final Lakers’ possession, Dennis Schroeder drove the lane and drew a foul call on Fox — a call Kings’ coach Mike Brown challenged. And lost.

You can argue that Fox threw his hip out into Schroder on the drive, but even Schroder admitted after the game the officials rarely call that foul late in the game. It was a soft foul call for the situation, but the NBA Replay Center tends to support its referees’ call if there is any contact, and there was enough.

Fox’s anger spilled over to his halfcourt heave to try and win the game — Fox wanted a foul call.

Fox wasn’t going to get that call, and nobody would. The referees are reluctant to call a foul on a desperation heave unless the contact is overwhelmingly obvious they have to. Fox — who did not speak to the media postgame, likely saving himself a healthy fine from the league — thought the scales should have balanced from the previous soft call.

After the game, Kings’ coach Mike Brown didn’t rant about the officials, he rightfully ranted about his team’s defense, which has been poor of late. The Lakers, as a team, shot 61% overall on their way to their fifth straight win.

At the front of the Lakers’ attack was again LeBron James, who scored 37.

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