The first-year Serbian head coach of Toronto, Rajakovic, criticized the game’s free throw disparity after Anthony Davis went 11 for 11 at the charity line in the fourth quarter, when he scored 20 of his 41 points. Of the 36 free throws the Lakers made during the game, Davis made 14 of them, while the entire Toronto team only made 13.
It’s absurd. What transpired today is utterly absurd,” Rajakovic declared. “It’s a shame. Disgrace to the umpires. It’s a shame the league let this happen. They get twenty-three free throws, and in the fourth quarter, we only get two? For example, how do I play the game? We have top players on our squad as well, and I understand the importance of showing respect for All-Stars and such.”How in the world does Scottie Barnes, an All-Star player in this league, manage to get two free throws during a complete game while consistently driving to the hoop with force and trying to get to the rim without foul calls?” Rajakovic continued, repeatedly slamming the table to emphasize his point. “How is that even possible? How will you explain that to me, please?”
With the Lakers down the stretch against the Raptors—who were without injured starting big Jakob Poeltl—Davis pulled down 11 rebounds and shot 13 for 17. In the last 1:01, Davis finished off his outstanding performance with 10 points, including 8 consecutive free throws and a crucial block of Barnes.
Rajakovic reportedly thought his squad was never given a chance by the referees.
Had they won tonight? Please inform us if that is the case so that we can avoid attending the game “Rajakovic remarked. “Just give it to them. But tonight, that was unfair. We are not experiencing this for the first time. Scottie Barnes will be an All-Star in the future. He will represent this league, and everything that goes on here for the entire season is total garbage.
The Raptors, who acquired RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley from New York in exchange for OG Anunoby, lost for just the second time in five games despite having 26 points from Barnes and 25 from Pascal Siakam.
The Raptors, who had only lost to the Lakers on the road twice in their previous nine trips, were led in scoring by Barrett, who finished with 23 points, and Quickley, who had 21 points and four 3-pointers.
The NBA will probably punish Rajakovic a lot for his outburst, but his players seemed to enjoy his aggressive language.
A 10-point scorer and Toronto’s starting center Thaddeus Young said, “It just says that he’s all for us as a family, as a team.” “We’re going to stick together forever. We as a family and as a team will always stand behind one another. He has always stood by us since the first day we arrived here, and we will always stand together. We will always adore Darko.
Coach is someone we greatly admire, and we are grateful that he is standing up for us.”
The Lakers, who had not won back-to-back games in over a month, were led by LeBron James, who finished with 22 points and 12 assists. After winning the first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament in December, they dropped 3-10 right away. However, on Sunday, they managed to stave off the Clippers and eventually outlast the Raptors to return to.500 (19-19).
Saying, “It was all of us,” Davis did not exhibit his usual late-game difficulties missing crucial free shots. “I wasn’t the only one. major pauses. The team was simply making the proper reads and trying to finish, but we got rebounds and they wanted me to get the ball for free throws.
With 3:52 remaining, Quickley committed a flagrant foul by elbowing Cam Reddish in the face, forcing him to foul out. With 1:08 remaining, Gary Trent Jr. gave the Raptors a 121-120 lead with a 3-pointer, but Davis quickly answered with a layup, then stopped Barnes’ jumper on the other end and added two free throws
With 24.8 seconds remaining, Barrett was called for an offensive foul, negating Barnes’ chance to tie the game with a three-pointer. Despite 3-pointers by Toronto’s Dennis Schröder and Trent in the final four seconds, Los Angeles managed to hold on thanks to a combination of Davis and Austin Reaves that finally scored 10 straight free throws in the final 34 seconds.
Poeltl sprained his left ankle during a victory against Golden State last Sunday, keeping him out of the game indefinitely. The University of Utah player leads the NBA in shooting % (68.5) and averages 10.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
“We knew we had an advantage on the interior tonight, and we just tried to get it to (Davis) early and often and late,” James stated.
Against the team he spent two of the previous three seasons with, Schröder finished with 10 points and six assists. With four seconds remaining, Schröder made an unintentional 3-pointer, but Davis made two more free throws before Trent’s final-second 3-pointer.