The Raptors’ Fred VanVleet is officially heartbroken after losing to the Clippers

Ohm YoungmisukESPN staff writer3 minutes to read

LOS ANGELES — Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet slammed referee Ben Taylor for taking the referee during the Raptors’ 108-100 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night at the Arena.

VanVleet did not back down from his post-game press conference and will likely receive a hefty fine from the NBA.

“I don’t mind, I’ll take a fine, I really don’t care,” VanVleet said. “I thought Ben Taylor was awful tonight. I think most nights, you know who the three are [officials]-There is one or two game over. It’s been the same for two consecutive games.

“[Losing on Monday at] Denver was obviously tough. I’m out tonight, compete hard, get bulls – technology that’s completely changing the dynamic of the game, completely changing the course of the game.

“Most referees try too hard. I like a lot of referees, they try their best, they’re very fair and they communicate really well. Then you’ve got other referees who just want to be propped up and just kind of end the game. And nobody comes around to see that…. They come to see the players.”

The Raptors were called for 23 fouls to the Clippers’ 18, but Los Angeles had 31 free throw attempts compared to Toronto’s 14. VanVleet was whistled for a technical foul by Taylor with 7:02 remaining in the third quarter. The Clippers were up at 7 at the time.

While Toronto got a 70-68 lead later in the quarter, the Clippers pushed the lead to 12 shortly before the fourth start.

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The technical performance in the third quarter was VanVleet’s eighth this season.

The Raptors had two straight games due to technical fouls in the second half. During their 118-113 loss to Denver on Monday, Scotty Barnes was called out by official Scott Foster for a technical foul before being ejected with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter. He was leading one Nuggets at the time.

Foster said in a post-game pool report that Barnes was fired on a tech because he “used speech that directly questioned the integrity of the crew.”

Three of VanVleet’s eight technicians came from Taylor, and one coming from another official at a match Taylor was working at. VanVleet said that “at a certain point as a player, it feels personal and not a good place to be”.

He was asked if anything he said Wednesday night led to him receiving a tech.

“There have been certain times this year when I feel like our team has been used up by the way a whistle blows,” said VanVleet. “Especially after the night we just had in Denver, the way it turned out, so there were a couple calls earlier that we didn’t all agree with. And if I said to my team, ‘Come on guys, let’s keep playing.'” [through] bull —- ‘This calls for a technique, I think that’s a bit crazy. Like what do we do? You know what I mean?

“And there’s obviously a fine line, I get that. But I think the jurisdiction and the power trip that we’ve had this year with some of our officials in this league has gotten out of hand and I’m fine for talking about it, but it’s ridiculous.”

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