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Lakers plan to talk to NBA about officiating of LeBron James

Lakers forward LeBron James pauses on the court in the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
Lakers forward LeBron James pauses on the court in the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
(Karen Pulfer Focht / Associated Press)

The Lakers are planning to discuss with the NBA the officiating of LeBron James in Saturday night’s victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

James scored 30 points while taking 27 shots, with nine of them three-pointers. And he didn’t get to shoot a single free throw.

“He’s in the paint all night long and, look, it’s just something that we’ll go through the proper channels and talk to the league office about it,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “But certainly, when your guy’s attacking the basket the way he is and getting zero free-throw attempts, it’s something that can be frustrating, but we’ve got to look past that. Like everything, we’ll deal with the proper channels and talk to the league about that.”

James didn’t want to spend too much time talking about it, but he presented his left arm as evidence of the physicality with which opponents played against him. He had a long scratch on his forearm that was forming into a scab.

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“I’m living in the paint, and if you look at my arm right here, these are four or five [scratches] that happened the last two games, and they weren’t called at all,” James said. “And it’s not me just going to the hole, going to the basket. But that can’t stop me. It didn’t stop me tonight.

“No matter what, I got to continue to go, but being able to get to the free-throw line is something that allows our defense to get in good position. It sets our defense. It slows the game down at times. It gives us a good rhythm. It relaxes me as well. So, I know I’m getting hit, but at the end of the day I just got to keep going.”

The Grizzlies became the Lakers’ 14th victim of the season Saturday night in Memphis despite a spirited effort that saw them lead by 15 points.

James’ teammates were frustrated on his behalf.

“He should [get] at least get eight to 10 free throws a game,” Danny Green said. “No doubt about it, how he attacks the rim, attacks the basket. It’s a physical game, and obviously he doesn’t flop. So it’s hard for refs to see and hard to referee him.”

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Lakers forward Jared Dudley believes some theatrics are necessary to get calls.

“Until the refs can somehow figure out it’s really a foul when they grab into your arms, I think you should do it,” Dudley said. “And I told the ref that. That’s the new league, players talk about it.

“… So maybe I’ll guard LeBron in practice and have him work on his new flopping routine.”

Lakers guard Rajon Rondo has been fined $35,000 for unsportsmanlike physical contact with Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, inappropriate comments toward an official and a failure to leave the court in a timely fashion.


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