Rockets’ Chris Paul claims he should be smarter approaching officials
Chris Paul finished Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors earlier than he expected thanks to being ejected with 4.4 seconds left in regulation after arguing a foul call for teammate James Harden.
Harden took a 3-pointer that was closely challenged by Draymond Green, but the Houston Rockets guard did not get the benefit of a call that would have put him on the line for potential game-tying free throws.
Paul complained to referee Josh Tiven and made contact along the way, resulting in his ejection and an ensuing technical foul to salt the game away:
“To shoot a 3-and-1, get a tech, I mean, it’s tough,” Paul said after the game, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “But I gotta be smarter because that didn’t do nothing but hurt our team.”
Asked about the incident after the game, Paul said, “I ain’t seen it yet.”
Some among the Rockets believe that any contact between Paul and Tiven was minimal and inadvertent, which wouldn’t merit any further discipline from the league office in the following days.
Houston constantly complained about potential foul calls on 3-point shooters, which by far has been the early theme of this Western Conference Semifinal series.
Harden received the first call early in the first quarter as Alfonzo McKinnie was whistled for the harm, yet every attempt to follow went uncalled by the referees.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, officials called fouls on Harden’s 3-pointers 95 times during the regular season and five times in the Rockets’ five-game first-round series against the Utah Jazz.
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