From Hield’s perspective, there’s not much you can do when playing the Lakers at Staples. It’s a familiar refrain for Kings fans still seething over Game 6 from 17 years ago. “One call changed the whole game,” Hield said. “It could have gone either way. It be like that sometimes, when the home team is favored all the time, especially in LA.”
There won’t be outrage at the level of Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals against the Lakers, but there were plenty of angry Kings after a game in which they shot only nine free throws — two through three quarters. Still, the Kings had a chance in the final seconds before the game was “stolen.” “The game came down to one play,” Hield said. “Sometimes in that situation you’ve got to let the game play out. I don’t think it was a foul the other way. So ask (referee) Rodney (Mott) what he think.”
Storyline: Officiating Complaints
How he fell — or was tripped by James — depends on which locker room you were in, obviously. “I think we know what’s going on,” Barnes said. “But for us, it’s moving past this, getting better, and that’s all I’ll say about that.” Kings coach Luke Walton was much more diplomatic in discussing the final play. “We ran a play, we had a chance, we didn’t make it,” Walton said. “All we try to focus on as a team is what we can control and what we can control is execution, knocking down shots, making the extra pass.