James Harden after Rockets' collapse: 'Can't have dual officials in a veteran game'

3:23 AM ET

BOSTON — Whistled for dual vicious descent fouls in a final 7.3 seconds of Thursday night’s detriment to a Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets star James Harden vented about a singular two-man arbitrate organisation and a late-game calls opposite him.

Referee Mark Lindsay harm his behind during pregame warm-ups, withdrawal customarily referees Tony Brothers and Gediminas Petraitis for a strife between dual of a league’s best teams.

“Well, initial of all, I’m wondering how do we customarily have dual officials on a inhabitant TV game? That’s a initial question,” pronounced Harden, whose initial descent tainted authorised Boston to take a customarily lead of a diversion with 3.7 seconds to play. The second prevented Houston from carrying some-more than a last-second swell after Boston rallied from 26 points down for a 99-98 delight during TD Garden.

Weary Celtics route by 26 before entirely outsmarting Rockets

The Boston Celtics battled with a Houston Rockets on a second night of a back-to-back, shutting down James Harden when it mattered most.

  • Rockets-Celtics diversion brief a ref due to injury

    Referee Mark Lindsay harm his behind during pregame warm-ups Thursday, withdrawal customarily referees Tony Brothers and Gediminas Petraitis to call a Rockets-Celtics diversion in Boston.

  • After a Jayson Tatum asperse pulled Boston within one indicate with 7.3 seconds to play, Harden got whistled for a initial descent tainted when Marcus Smart strike a belligerent as he attempted to forestall a All-Star ensure from jolt giveaway to take a inbounds pass.

    “A lot of grabbing, a lot of holding,” Harden said. “I mean, how else am we ostensible to get open? Gotta ask, with dual arms wrapped around my whole body.”

    Added Harden: “But like we said, it’s only tough. You can’t have dual officials in a veteran game. There’s a lot of no-calls that need to be called, since that changes a energetic of a game.”

    The referees regularly drew a madness of Boston’s sideline — and a fans — with manager Brad Stevens picking adult a singular technical, along with Marcus Morris, for arguing a call opposite Boston as a group attempted to rally.

    Kyrie Irving pronounced a refs have a tough pursuit in that situation.

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    Kyrie Irving explains that blank a third central done a disproportion opposite a Rockets though emphasized to his teammates to use it to their advantage.

    “We’re 10 athletes on a building during one time. A lot of space. [Two referees is] going to make a difference,” pronounced Irving, who couldn’t remember personification with only dual refs before in his career. “That’s because we have 3 refs. Both teams had to play within that realm, and during times it went in their favor. At times it went in a favor. Best approach to fight that is only to adjust, and we suspicion both teams did a good pursuit of that.

    “Obviously, both teams wished some calls could have left possibly way. But it didn’t make a disproportion carrying only dual refs. When we saw both of them out there during a half justice [before a game], and we was like, ‘There’s only dual of y’all tonight?’ They were like, ‘Somebody’s hurt.’ we was like, ‘Where’s a backup?’ we asked a legit question. we was like, ‘Where’s a backup?’ Because we suspicion customarily they have 4 refs. So there’s one for backup or someone is examination in a behind or something. we don’t know a dynamic.

    “But once a ref was hurt, we was like, ‘Both of we guys are gonna do this?’ we was like, ‘All right, well, we’re adjusting.’ we told my teammates we were gonna have dual refs out here, so use that to your advantage.”

    Harden gave credit to Boston for producing a league’s biggest quip this season.

    “They’re a good team. They’re gonna make a run, generally during home,” Harden said. “We only didn’t govern when we indispensable to.”

    Still, Harden couldn’t facade his displeasure: “Then we got fast-break points, no-calls, turnovers, whatever a box might be. But it’s a veteran game, inhabitant TV. Can’t happen.”

    Asked again about a offensive-foul calls, Harden replied, “Right, yeah, we know,” afterwards walked divided from reporters.

    ESPN’s Jeff Goodman and Stefano Fusaro contributed to this report.

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