Raptors coach Nick Nurse blasts referees over officiating of star Kawhi Leonard

By E.Jay Zarett 17 December 2018 106
Raptors coach Nick Nurse blasts referees over officiating of star Kawhi Leonard

Raptors coach Nick Nurse was not happy with the officials Sunday.

Toronto fell to the Nuggets in Denver 95-86 and star Kawhi Leonard attempted just four free throws in the game. Nurse addressed the officiating of Leonard when he met with reporters after the loss.

“Tonight was a very severe case of a guy who was playing great, taking it to the rim and just getting absolutely held, grabbed, poked, slapped, hit and everything,” Nurse said. “They refused to call any of it. It’s unbelievable to me.

"It's ridiculous. The guy is one of the best players in the league, and he doesn't complain, he doesn't do this, he doesn't do that, and they just turn their head and go the other way. It's been going on all year."

Leonard scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed 14 rebounds against Denver. He said the matchup was "very physical."

“I just go with the next play,” Leonard told reporters. “I pride myself on just keep moving and keep going.”

Leonard has the reputation of being quiet on the court. But, he said he does not think that puts him at a disadvantage.

“There's games when I do talk and get no calls,” Leonard said. “So I don't know what it is. (I’ve) just got to keep going. Just keep playing basketball. Keep fighting and getting through it."

“Just on my drives or coming off pick and rolls a lot, or even just going to the basket, there's a lot of hand grabs and bodying, which the rules say you aren't supposed to do this year. But I take pride in thinking I could play in any era, so I'm just going out there and playing."

The 27-year-old star is in his first season with the Raptors. He and guard Danny Green were sent from the Spurs to Toronto in exchange for a package centered around DeMar DeRozan this summer.

Leonard has averaged 26.2 points and 8.2 rebounds in 23 games for the Raptors in 2018-19. He has shot 48.7 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from 3-point range.

Toronto dropped to 23-9 on the season after falling to the Nuggets.

 

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E.Jay Zarett

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