Raptors fans furious over ref's calls against Toronto
The Oklahoma City Thunder put an end to an 11-game winning streak for the Toronto Raptors yesterday during a heated home game that is once again raising questions about the competency of NBA refs (and, more specifically, whether or not they've got something against Toronto.)
The game was intense on the whole with 25 lead changes and a score of 125-125 heading into the final minute.
Then, with just 8.1 seconds left to go, three Raptors – including coach Dwane Casey – were ejected from the game for complaining to NBA ref Marc Davis, who is said to have "missed a pretty clear foul on [DeMar] DeRozan for a potentially game-tying bucket."
DeRozan was first to be kicked out after yelling at the refs. Serge Ibaka was booted just moments later for the same reason.
Coach Casey was then ejected for what many are saying is "something that a fan shouted in the background at Davis."
The scene was so ridiculous that Casey himself was seen laughing in disbelief as he walked off court. Kyle Lowry, who'd been fouled out with 3:18 remaining, was also laughing.
Kyle Lowry and Dwane Casey can only laugh as Casey gets T'd & tossed for someone else yelling at the referee pic.twitter.com/CYgIo840bm— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 18, 2018
In video footage from the game, fans throughout the Air Canada Centre can be heard chanting "Ref, you suck! Ref, you suck!" following this triad of ejections.
"All we want to ask for is fairness and consistency," said Casey to reporters after his team's loss.
"I'm not gonna step here and criticize officials, we made enough mistakes. But we'll complain in the right, proper way. We gotta get it right around the league."
With DeRozan, Ibaka, Lowry and Casey out of the way, OKC won Sunday afternoon's matchup 132-125.
The refs, for their part, got a police escort out of the game – presumably for their own safety.
Referees got a full security escort off the floor in Toronto pic.twitter.com/vCtuPEoQsB— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 18, 2018
"Things went a little off the rails, as Toronto accumulated four technical fouls and three ejections in the final 11 seconds," wrote Arden Zwelling for Sportsnet.
"The test of a well-officiated contest in any sport is whether you notice the officiating at all," he explained. "That the referees were escorted off the court amid a full security detail tells you all you need to know."
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