James Harden was furious with the refs in Boston after the Houston Rockets blew a 26-point lead Thursday night in an improbable 99-98 loss to the Celtics.
Harden committed two offensive fouls in the final 7.3 seconds of play, and afterwards, slammed the two-man crew that officiated the game (the third ref was forced to sit out due to a sore back.)
Marcus Smart called Harden’s second offensive foul a “little nudge.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) December 29, 2017
Per the Houston Chronicle:
“First of all, I wonder how you only have two officials on a national TV game,” Harden said. “A lot of grabbing, a lot of holding. How else am I supposed to get open? The guy has two arms wrapped around my whole body.”
Smart described Harden’s foul as a “little nudge,” but he added that Harden “lost it,” leading to him to commit his seventh and eighth turnovers of the night in the final seconds.
“The first one, we were just trying to deny him the ball,” Smart said. “We were just trying to make it real uncomfortable for him the whole night. He lost it and gave me a little nudge, and it was kind of right in front of the official, so he called it.
“Then Al [Horford] scores it, and they were getting ready to take the ball out and he’s bumping me chest to chest. I’m just standing there in the spot just getting ready to play defense again. My hands are up, and then once again he does the same thing. He loses it again, and the ref was right there again and called it.”