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Scott Foster to Ref Rockets vs. Warriors Game 2 Despite Houston's Past Criticism

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2019

FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018 file photo, Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) argues with referee Scott Foster during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards in Houston. The NBA is not happy that tensions between teams and referees seem to be rising. Playoff-race pressure is real, and the NBA thinks or hopes that the some tantrums in recent weeks can be attributed to that and not an eroding of the always-tenuous relationship between those who commit infractions and those who call them.  (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith, File)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

The Houston Rockets were critical of the officiating in Sunday's Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors, and chances are they won't be thrilled when they see who's officiating Game 2.

ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon reported that Scott Foster has been assigned to Tuesday night's contest at Oracle Arena.

Foster has not worked a Rockets game since Feb. 21, when Houston star James Harden was fined $25,000 for publicly criticizing the officiating following a 111-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Both Harden and All-Star point guard Chris Paul fouled out of that contest, and PJ Tucker picked up five fouls. After the contest, Harden called Foster "just rude and arrogant."

"It's lingering, and it's something that has to be looked at for sure," Harden said of Foster, per MacMahon. "For sure, it's personal. For sure. I don't think he should be able to even officiate our games anymore, honestly."

Of note, Harden and Co. have not fared well when Foster has been on the court in recent years:

Basketball Reference @bball_ref

Since the 2017 postseason the Rockets are 0-6 when Scott Foster refs their games. They have averaged more FT/FTA and fewer PF than their opponents in these games. However, HOU has shot 28.2% on 3s, while opps have shot 39.6% (3 more makes on 58 fewer atts) https://t.co/UFwhFER1HT

Sports Insights @SportsInsights

Since 2014, the #Rockets are 3-7 ATS in the postseason with Foster as one of the officials, including 0-5 ATS in their last five games. https://t.co/RUlHBlJ91O

Ed Malloy and Eric Lewis will make up the rest of the officiating crew, according to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

Houston is coming off a 104-100 loss to Golden State, one that saw Harden involved in a controversial no-call on his three-point attempt in the final seconds. After the game, the reigning league MVP made it clear that he "just want[s] a fair chance":

Zach Lowe and Rachel Nichols of ESPN.com reported on Monday that Houston audited last year's Game 7 loss to Golden State in the Western Conference Finals and determined there had been 81 missed calls and non-calls that could cost the team 18.6 points. 

NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN that the league does not "agree with their methodology." 

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