LeBron James was not happy with the unnecessary physicality that the Rockets were displaying in a lost cause, and he let his feelings known to Robert Covington.
With the Lakers advancing to the Conference Finals after a blowout win in Game 5, they have sent out a message to the rest of the league as the clear favorites to win the NBA championship.
The Rockets came out of the gates really slow on offense and lagging behind the pace on defense, and they paid a steep price for it.
LeBron James asks Robert Covington to stop grabbing and start playing
LeBron James questioned the Rockets’ double standards with respect to the physicality in the game.
According to him, they would be talking to the referees about any small contact the Lakers made, while doing much worse on the other end. James implored the Rockets to stop cribbing and play basketball the right way.
Lakers’ LeBron James to Rockets’ Robert Covington: “Y’all grabbing the whole f—-ing game. As soon as someone touches you, y’all got something to say. Y’all grabbing the whole game. Play ball.”
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 13, 2020
The game stayed chippy all the way till the time the Lakers pulled their starters off the floor with an unassailable 29 point lead.
They finished the game with a blowout 119-96 win, their biggest margin of victory in the playoffs this year (tied with Game 3 against the Blazers).
Russell Westbrook engaged in some bad mouthing of his own later on in the game, when Rondo’s brother started waving him goodbye. This was the Rockets’ earliest playoff exit in 4 years, losing the Conference Semifinals in only 5 games.