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Kings' Alvin Gentry Slams 'Horses--t Rule' After Jump Ball in Loss vs. Lakers

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 5, 2022

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Sacramento Kings head coach Alvin Gentry took umbrage with a controversial call made down the stretch in Tuesday's 122-114 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

After Lakers guard Malik Monk missed a free throw with 24 seconds remaining, Kings guard De'Aaron Fox didn't immediately grab the rebound in an effort to prevent the clock from starting.

The clock ran before Fox touched the ball, however, leading referees to whistle the play dead and call for a jump ball.

Fox would have been in possession of the ball since no Lakers were around him, but the jump ball was called since he didn't have the ball when the play was ruled dead.

According to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee, Gentry didn't blame the refs but ripped the rule itself: "Before you ask me about that play, it’s a horses--t rule in the NBA. The referees did exactly what they are supposed to do. ... We got punished for a dumbass rule."

While the Kings were up against it with a 119-114 deficit and 24 seconds left when the call was made, the jump ball essentially sealed their fate.

Sacramento squandered a great showing from Fox, who led the team with 30 points and had six assists. The loss was the Kings' fifth in the past eight games, and it dropped their record to a disappointing 16-23.

Meanwhile, the Lakers continued their recent run of success, winning their third game in a row and finally getting back over .500 at 20-19.

As is usually the case, especially with Anthony Davis out injured, LeBron James was the star of the show for L.A.

The MVP candidate racked up another game of 30-plus points, scoring a game-high 31 to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Russell Westbrook finished with 19 points and seven rebounds, and notably, he didn't turn the ball over.

Per ESPN's Dave McMenamin, that marked Westbrook's first game without a turnover since 2016, snapping a streak of 407 consecutive games.

The Lakers only turned the ball over five times compared to 18 for the Kings. Ball security was likely the deciding factor, as Sacramento made 51.8 percent of its field goals and 41.2 percent of its three-point attempts to respective marks of 49.5 and 34.4 for L.A.

With Tuesday's loss, the Kings find themselves 10th in the Western Conference, while the Lakers are in a virtual tie for fifth with the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks.

The Kings will look to get back on track Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks, while the Lakers will attempt to make it four wins in a row against the Hawks on Friday.

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