Damian Lillard earned a technical foul in the closing moments of the Portland Trail Blazers’ 125-133 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night. As it turns out, the All-Star guard thinks the complaint was more than worth it. Kevin Pelton of ESPN detailed today how Lillard perceived the injustice.
Lillard’s frustration started with an earlier play.
With 3 minutes, 42 seconds left and Portland down by 15, Lillard scored on a reverse layup but thought he had also drawn a foul on the Mavs’ Luka Doncic.
”The guy smacked me in the head, and the referee is right there,” Lillard said. “I ask him, ‘How are you going to make that call?’ He tells me, ‘We all agreed that you leaned in.’ That’s an insult, man. ‘You leaned into him?’ He smacked me in the head. That’s frustrating as hell, man. And then you get that type of explanation.”
By the final seconds of the game, as Lillard was exiting the floor, the exasperation turned outward as Lillard challenged referee Ray Acosta about the non-call. The home crowd appreciated Lillard’s demonstration.
Dame gets called for a technical with 13.7 seconds to play, and the crowd gives him a standing ovation.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) January 24, 2020
Pelton’s article continues Lillard’s argument, including his objection to the joint agreement of all three officials on the offending call.