TORONTO — What in the world went on down the stretch of Toronto’s 132-125 loss to Oklahoma City on Sunday?
It all started to unravel when Kyle Lowry earned his sixth foul on a questionable offensive push with a little over three minutes to go in a tie game with a franchise record-setting win streak on the line.
With about 30 seconds left on the clock, the wheels really fell off.
Raptors star DeMar DeRozan drove down the middle of the key, put up the layup and everyone on the floor seemed to stop playing assuming the foul — but nothing was called. DeRozan was angry (like, really angry) and let the referee know it, picking up a technical in the process.
And by the sounds of it, the entire ACC agreed with him as loud boos filled the arena when the replay came up on the Jumbotron. It was the loudest and most engaged the fans were all game, and for obvious reasons: the refs missed a blatant foul.
DeMar is not avoiding a fine. On Brewer contact with arm: “He smacked the shit out of it…I got fouled.” Video will be worth watching when it’s up. He didn’t pull punches.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) March 18, 2018
DeMar DeRozan was 100 percent fouled on that layup attempt, and he has every reason to be pissed off.
But he can't get a technical foul there. Bite your tongue. The score is too close.
— Chris Walder (@WalderSports) March 18, 2018
DeRozan let the refs have it a few plays later, screaming “you’re trash” among other things to earn his second technical and an ejection from the game.
“You know the frustration, you know what it came down to,” said DeRozan. “It was obvious, especially at the end of the game.”
Then, moments after DeRozan left the floor and the game all but over, Toronto’s Serge Ibaka followed him into the locker room after being ejected himself. If you blinked, you missed his technical fouls altogether.
And just when you thought the chaos was over, Raptors coach Dwane Casey was ejected from the game as well. To make matters even more ridiculous, it was actually a fan who yelled out toward the ref, according to the broadcast. When the technical was called, the fan behind Casey even stood up before realizing Casey was being blamed for it. Casey and Lowry — and OKC’s Corey Brewer — couldn’t help but laugh, because what else can you do at that point?
When asked in the postgame interview if it was him or a fan who yelled out, Casey simply repeated what he’d said a number of times before: “We will complain the right and proper way.”
That’s when the “ref, you suck!” chant filled the ACC. It wasn’t just a few obnoxious fans on one side of the court yelling, it was the entire arena chanting in sync. The chants were so loud the refs had to be escorted off the court after the game with a gang of security guards and police officers.
That didn’t stop the relentless Raptors fans from yelling and swearing at them as they walked off the floor after the buzzer.
— ✴ (@Stoker21) March 18, 2018
As you would expect, the refereeing was the primary point of discussion after the game.
“We will complain in the right proper way about how the game was called,” said Casey. “All we want to ask for is fairness and consistency.”
And remember, this isn’t the first time the Raptors have had issues with the referees.
Most notably, DeRozan was fined in January for criticizing the refs, saying, “I mean, it’s frustrating being out there feeling like you playing 5-on-8. It’s just what it feel like, period. Some of them calls was terrible, period.”
And after Sunday’s chaotic finish, it won’t be the end of the Raptors vs. referees discussion.
Every big game or really even every game the Raptors get screwed by the refs. Its the same thing every year. This year in the playoffs it’s going to be ridiculous.
— Curtis (@CTudor88) March 18, 2018
If you want to see a team get “screwed” by the refs, watch the end of the Toronto/OKC game. #Raptors got absolutely screwed.
— Danielle Patterson (@DaniellePatt) March 18, 2018
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