As if nearly injuring Joel Embiid and turning the game inadvertently wasn’t enough, LeBron James also went after him for flopping post-game.
The Sixers held a lead over the league leading (now 2nd-placed) Lakers for nearly the entire length of the game. They relinquished it at the worst possible moment, as Danny Green allowed Anthony Davis to lay the ball in after a rudimentary cut. This gave the Lakers the chance to see the game out with one defensive sequence.
Tobias Harris came up clutch for the Sixers, hitting the game-winner with 2.4 seconds left in the game. The Lakers did not have any timeouts left, so they could not advance the ball up the floor in time to take a shot.
LeBron James comments on Joel Embiid flopping all game long
After the game, James and Vogel both lamented the Lakers’ inability to keep from fouling Joel Embiid:
“The first quarter we put them to the line way too much. … It allowed them to get their defense set. … besides that, we held them to 21 points in second, 26, and 26, and gave ourselves the opportunity to win at the end … I love our fight. We have to do a better job of keeping our hand out of the cookie jar … Embiid has Harden-like magic with those swipes.”
LeBron with a foul on Embiid who goes down hard 😳pic.twitter.com/buqvtyzb0a
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 28, 2021
The Sixers could argue that they were hard done by the refereeing team. Pushing a player in mid-air with no control is worthy of an ejection in the eyes of many referees. Sending LeBron off the court for this foul would have taken some serious balls, but it would have been the safe thing to do.
You can genuinely understand Joel Embiid arguing how it would be different if the shoe was on the other foot and he was the one fouling LeBron James.