The Memphis Grizzlies were physically outmatching a Houston Rockets team that was playing on the second night of a back-to-back after they edged out an impressive victory on the NBA’s Christmas Day showcase. However, the six-point lead that they took into the fourth quarter quickly dissipated.
James Harden put up 11 points in the final frame for the Rockets and helped stomp out the Grizzlies by a final score of 100-92. The big story from the game and for Harden, though, was the fact that Harden made 25 trips to the free throw line, hitting 22 of them. He said after the game that his shots weren’t falling—he shot just 2-9 from the field—and that he just kept attacking in getting to the line.
Grizzlies star power forward Zach Randolph saw what happened at the foul line in a different light, though. After the game, Randolph said that Memphis was playing “eight against five” and that the officiating and sending Houston to the foul line was “dictating the game.” Z-Bo then went on to voice his opinion by saying that the refereeing was “horrible.”
Though it’s hard to deny that there’s something peculiar about a player going to the line 25 times in a single game, even if he is attacking the basket often, there’s also no denying that Randolph is going to get fined for his comments. Randolph is never one to hold back or be shut up because he fears a fine, but when a player publicly calls out the officiating like that, the league is going to have no bones about lightening up Randolph’s pockets.