LeBron James Criticizes Refs for Lack of Foul Calls After Cavs' Loss to Spurs

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) drives past San Antonio Spurs' Kyle Anderson in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was not pleased that he attempted a mere four free throws in his team's 110-94 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

Cleveland.com shared some of the criticism James directed toward the officiating:

clevelanddotcom Cavs @PDcavsinsider

LeBron was frustrated with the officiating in today's game. #Cavs https://t.co/tT817YD7tM

"We're at a point now where we protect the shooter more than the driver," James said. "There's no reason I should be going to the line four times in a game when I drive 100 times to the paint and I'm getting hit, slapped and grabbed."

James' Cavaliers shot just 14 free throws in the loss, while the Spurs attempted 32 shots from the charity stripe.

On several drives, James created contact—and he was hit in the face without a call on one particular attempt. LeBron easily could have been rewarded by the officials with a few more trips to the line, but Spurs' advantage in free-throw attempts likely had to do with the Cavaliers' propensity for perimeter shots, as they shot 34 threes to San Antonio's 19. 

Despite his displeasure with the officiating, James just missed a triple-double with 33 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists while shooting 14-of-25 from the field. The foul shooting was one thing, but one of Cleveland's primary issues was the lack of secondary help considering James was the only Cavaliers starter to score in double figures.

San Antonio had seven finish in double figures, including LaMarcus Aldridge (27 points) and Danny Green (22 points). Aldridge led all players with 10 free throws as the Spurs' go-to option in the win Sunday.

Officiating has been a primary topic of discussion throughout this NBA season, and James' comments figure to only add to the storyline.

According to Steve Aschburner of NBA.com, a group of officials and players met during the league's All-Star Weekend to "hash out problems in their working relationship" as tension grew between the two sides in the first half of the season.