The day after his team's 91-84 loss to the Lakers, Celtics Coach Doc Rivers didn't hide his displeasure with the officiating in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
No one else did either.
The seemingly heavy-handed calls that have bogged down the games have been a talking point for both teams, and nearly every answer from a coach or player in Wednesday's media availability at Boston's TD Garden had some reference to the officiating.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post reported the Celtics lost 94-81. The Lakers won, 91-84.
But Rivers seemed particularly peeved after Tuesday's loss, and said he sent in several complaints to the NBA league office. "I don't send a lot usually to the league," Rivers said. "I sent in a lot this morning."
Rivers spoke directly about Lakers guard Derek Fisher's defense on Ray Allen, noting that aside from "flopping, he doesn't do a lot extra" in terms of fighting through screens that had opened up Allen for good looks in his record-setting Game 2 but not in his dreadful Game 3 outing.
"He's one of the best charge-takers in the game," Rivers said. "He's always been that. And some of them are charges and then some of them are flops, but all of them are tough to call."
Statistically speaking, the foul differential between the two teams is not so great, but it definitely favors the Lakers.
In terms of personal fouls, the Lakers are being called for 25 per game in this series, which is comparable to the 26 per game they were called for in the 2008 Finals series against the Celtics.
The Celtics, meanwhile, are getting called for 28 personal fouls per game, up from the 24.7 they were called for in the 2008 series.
From the free-throw line, there is also a bit of a swing, which again favors the Lakers.
The Lakers are shooting 32 free throws per game this series, up from the 28.3 they shot in the 2008 Finals. The Celtics, on the other hand, are shooting 28.7 free throws per game this series, down from the 31.8 they shot in the 2008 Finals.
But it seems that fouls play a greater role when it comes to momentum, as Celtics forward Kevin Garnett said Wednesday when asked about Paul Pierce's struggles this series.
"You know, it's crazy because I've been there, Game 2, with the fouls, and it really takes a toll on you from a momentum and rhythm standpoint," Garnett said.
Celtics forward Glen Davis did what Rivers and others did Wednesday: Praise the difficulty of being an NBA referee.
"They're one of a kind, and it's hard to be them," Davis said. "I wouldn't want to be them at all."
-- Baxter Holmes in Boston