Luke Walton is sticking up for his players, and doesn’t care if his opinion draws a fine.
The Lakers coach unleashed his frustrations after Los Angeles fell to 0-3 following a 143-142 overtime loss to the Spurs on Monday, ripping into the referees for what he believed were numerous missed calls during the game.
“I wasn’t going to say anything. I was going to save my money, but I just can’t anymore,” Walton said after the game. “It’s  points in the paint [by the Lakers] to 50, [and yet] again they outshoot us from the free-throw line — 38 free throws [to 26 by the Lakers].
“Watch the play where I got a technical foul. Watch what happened to LeBron James’ arm. It’s the same thing that James Harden and Chris Paul [drew fouls on and] shot 30 free throws on us the night before. We are scoring 70 points a night. In the paint.”
Walton admitted his team committed fouls and said they will “continue to get better on that,” but couldn’t deny San Antonio’s dramatized play.
“Watch how Josh Hart plays this game. He played 40 minutes tonight. All he does is attack the rim. Zero free throws tonight. Zero,” Walton added. “So to me, it doesn’t matter.
“I know they’re young, I get that. 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.”
The Lakers were without starters Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram after the two were suspended for their roles in an altercation with Chris Paul and the Rockets, but it was LeBron James’ pair of missed free-throws in overtime that paved the way for the Spurs to seal the victory.
Los Angeles will seek its first win of the season when it visits Phoenix at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday.