The officiating became the biggest storyline in Game 1 of the Rockets and Warriors semfinal series, and James Harden is not happy.
Harden and other Rockets players and coaches were incensed that officials did not call fouls on Warriors defenders closing out on Houston’s 3-point shooters and not giving them space to land.
After the Warriors 104-100 victory, Harden vented his frustration.
‘I just want a fair chance, man,” Harden told reporters. “Call the game how it’s supposed to be called and that’s it and I’ll live with the results.”
Even ABC officiating analyst Steve Javie said it appeared referees missed some calls.
Harden was not happy about these close-outs by Klay + CP3 and Mike D’Antoni get techs after a no-call. 👀 pic.twitter.com/p1hKXw1DsC
— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) April 28, 2019
But while the Rockets were frustrated, Warriors forward Draymond Green seemed amused when told about Harden’s complaint.
“I’ve been fouled by James (Harden) on a James 3-pointer before. I ain’t trying to hear that,” Green said. “I ain’t going with that.”
Draymond Green responds to James Harden:
“I’ve been fouled by James on a James 3-pointer before. I ain’t tryna hear that…” pic.twitter.com/8GO0obqw1d
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) April 28, 2019
Those no-calls happened at least a half-dozen times, in the Rockets eyes. Guard Chris Paul and head coach Mike D’Antoni were both slapped with technicals for arguing a no-call on a 3-pointer made by Paul in the third quarter.
After the game, D’Antoni says officials admitted to him they missed four such calls in the first half alone.
“They just came at halftime and said they missed them,” D’Antoni said. “They missed four of them. That’s 12 foul shots.”