Not much has gone right for the Memphis Grizzlies this season, so a road win over the Houston Rockets would have been a nice pick-me-up. The Grizzlies were in position to beat the Rockets on Thursday night, but they blew a 13-point second-half lead and lost 100-92.
Grizzlies big man Zach Randolph was frustrated after the game, and the focus of his ire was on the three-man officiating crew of James Capers, Pat Fraher and Karl Lane:
"It's obvious, it was the refs tonight," Randolph said, when asked for the game's turning point. "Eight against five. The game - in the second half - the man was shooting free throws every time. We're out there playing hard. They're dictating the game. It can't be like that, man. We're out here playing too."
The "man" Randolph was referring to is James Harden, who managed to score 27 points despite making just two field goals all game. Harden did this by going a ridiculous 22-of-25 on free throws, tying the Rockets' franchise record for made free throws in a game and also becoming the first player in NBA history to score 27 or more points while only making two field goals.
Randolph wasn't done:
"It was horrible refereeing - a horrible game they reffed tonight," Randolph continued. "Awful. They dictated the game. Plain, point simple. They dictated the game. We're out here working as hard as them. Come on, man."
Much of the damage came in the fourth quarter. Harden himself went 9-of-11 from the charity stripe in the final frame, and the Rockets went 17-of-20 as a team in the quarter. Houston outscored Memphis 34-20 in the fourth quarter.
For the game, the Rockets went 33-of-40 from the line as the Grizzlies were whistled for 30 fouls. Memphis only took 20 free throws, so it's easy to understand why Randolph was upset. Of course, the league won't care about that when it comes to doling out a fine, so the big man should expect to hear from them very soon.