Austin Reeves jokingly thought it should have been a technical foul.
Referee Scott Foster even joked that LeBron James has been planning for decades for a move like this, a clash between the umpire and the Lakers star in Saturday’s Game 3, leaving Foster with a bloody lip. I thought I was doing it.
With just over two minutes left in the second quarter, James started running up the court after the Nuggets made a basket and a teammate inbounded the ball to Reeves.
And despite trying to turn away, James collided with Foster before midcourt, prompting the Lakers’ training staff to tend to Foster, but in an exchange captured on broadcast microphones. continued to apologize.
“It was technical, to be honest,” Reeves joked to the two as they gathered on the sidelines late in the third quarter.
“I didn’t see him,” said James. “I turned and went.”
“I was already in sprint mode,” Foster said before the crash, after “trying to get out of the way.” “I’m sorry, Scott.”
“You’ve wanted to do that for 25 years,” joked Foster.
Foster has been an NBA referee for 29 years, according to ESPN.
At the time of the collision, the Lakers were leading 55-48 with 2 minutes and 29 seconds remaining in the first half, and had already narrowed the gap by 12 points after the opening frame, eventually narrowing it down to 3 points at halftime.
But the Nuggets exploded a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter to win 119-108, putting the Lakers down 3-0 and no NBA team to escape in the playoffs so far.
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 28 points, James and Reeves contributed 23 points, but Jamal Murray scored 37 points, including 30 in the first half, to bring the Nuggets closer to their first NBA Finals appearance.
“I can’t speak for them right now because I don’t know what’s going on in their minds, but I still believe that,” James told reporters after the game, according to the Associated Press. said. “Now it’s time to head home, refuel, start the healing and recovery process, and get ready for Monday. My mindset is always fixed.”