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Lakers’ Darvin Ham Backs LeBron James in Criticism of Refs vs. Heat: ‘He’s Not Flopping’

Lakers coach Darvin Ham was furious about the officiating after Monday night’s 108–107 loss to the Heat in Miami—especially in regard to superstar LeBron James

Specifically, Ham was assessed a technical foul in the third quarter after James drove to the hoop and appeared to be hit in the face by Heat forward Thomas Bryant. Ham wanted a foul called, but officials instead assessed James for flopping.

After the game, Ham explained he simply wanted to see consistency in regard to the officiating. He pointed out that James only went to the free throw line four times despite regularly attacking the rim and absorbing contact.

“I’ve been around this league a long time, man,” Ham said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “We just want balance and consistency. That’s it. I see ‘Bron shooting four free throws, and the amount of times that he attacked the rim, the amount of times he was slapped on the arm, which I could see plain as day, for that not to be called? Man, he’s not flopping. I’m watching him go to the hole strong.”

James was perplexed by the officiating as well.

“I’m going over to [the officials] respectfully and telling them what’s going on in the plays, and I consistently go to the line three or four times a game. Sometimes not even at all, which is weird,” James said. “So, just got to keep driving, keep putting pressure on the rim and see if it turns.”

Los Angeles center Anthony Davis tweaked his hip on a spin move in the second quarter against Miami rookie Jaime Jaquez. 

The Lakers don’t expect the injury to sideline Davis for too long, but it will be something to monitor heading into Los Angeles’s next game at the Rockets on Wednesday.