NBA

Lakers coach Luke Walton fined $15K for criticizing officiating

Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton was fined $15,000 by the NBA for his postgame comments criticizing officials following his team's Monday night overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the league announced on Wednesday. 

Walton vented to reporters about what he perceived to be inconsistent officiating in the Lakers' 143-142 loss to the Spurs, pointing out how there was a discrepancy in foul calls and considering the fact that Los Angeles outscored San Antonio in the paint by such a wide margin, 74-50. 

"I wasn't going to say anything because I was going to save my money, but I just can't anymore," Walton began in his postgame rant. "It's 70-something points in the paint (by the Lakers) to 50-something. (But) again they out-shoot us from the free-throw line (38 attempts to 26)."

"Watch the play where I got a technical foul on. Watch what happened to LeBron James' arm. It's the same thing that James Harden and Chris Paul shot 30 free throws on us the night before. Then LeBron pulls up on a screen, somebody (is) trying to fight over. Same thing they shot free throws on. Same thing."

James missed two free throws with 12.8 seconds left in overtime that would've given the Lakers a three-point lead. Instead, the Spurs made a go-ahead basket on the next possession to help pull off the victory. 

Walton took specific issue with the lack of fouls drawn by guard Josh Hart, who did not shoot a free throw Monday in 39 minutes, even though, from the coach's perspective, "all he does is attack the rim."

"I know they're young, I get that," Walton said. "But if we are going to play a certain way, let's not reward people for flopping 30 feet from the hole on plays that have nothing to do with that possession. They're just flopping just to see if they get a foul call. And then not reward players that are physically going to the basket and getting hit. It's not right."

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Contributing: Tom Schad. 

Follow Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson and Schad @Tom_Schad

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