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NBA fines Toronto’s Rajakovic $25,000 for comments blasting officiating after loss to Lakers

NEW YORK (AP) — Toronto coach Darko Rajakovic was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Thursday, two days after he ranted about officiating following his team’s 132-131 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Rajakovic took particular exception to how the Lakers got 23 free throws in the fourth quarter while the Raptors shot only two. The 21 free throw disparity was the largest for any quarter of an NBA game this season.

For the game, the Lakers took 36 free throws — 14 by Anthony Davis alone — and the Raptors took only 13.

“What happened tonight, this is completely B.S.,” Rajakovic said after that game, sometimes hitting the table where he was sitting for emphasis. “This is shame. Shame for the referees. Shame for the league to allow this. Twenty-three free throws for them, and we get two free throws in the fourth quarter?”

Rajakovic, the Raptors’ first-year head coach, went on to call the game “not fair” and suggested that it wasn’t the first time Toronto felt like it wasn’t officiated on equal footing this season.

Toronto had given up the second-fewest free throws per game in the league entering Tuesday. Opponents averaged 19.5 foul shots this season against the Raptors going into that contest.

Further angering the Raptors: a call where Davis drew a foul on an RJ Barrett screen with 24.8 seconds left, on a play where Scottie Barnes hit a 3-pointer that would have tied the game. The Raptors argued that Davis flopped, to no avail.

“They had to win tonight? If that’s the case, just let us know, so we don’t show up for the game,” Rajakovic said. “Just give them a win. But that was not fair tonight. And this is not happening first time for us.”

The Raptors lost again in Los Angeles on Wednesday, falling 126-120 to the Clippers. Before the game, Rajakovic said the loss the night before was behind the team.

“I’m going to always stand up for my team and for my players and for my organization,” he added.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

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