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Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph blames refs for loss to Rockets: It was ‘eight against five’ (UPDATE)

Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph might as well get a check made payable to the NBA ready. Other than the amount, of course. Because there is little doubt that he will be fined for his post-game comments in which he essentially blamed the referees for the Grizzlies’ 100-92 loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday.

And he may have a point. To a certain extent.

Said a frustrated Randolph after the game (via SI.com):

“It’s obvious, it was the refs tonight,” Randolph said, when asked for the game’s turning point. “Eight against five. The game — in the second half — the man was shooting free throws every time. We’re out there playing hard. They’re dictating the game. It can’t be like that, man. We’re out here playing too.”

The reason Randolph may be on to something lies in the fact that the Rockets attempted a whopping 40 free throws in the game, compared to only 20 for the Grizzlies. Further, the Rockets were called for only 19 fouls while the Grizzlies were whistled for 30. Quite the disparity, indeed.

The “man” to which Randolph is referring to is Rockets scoring machine James Harden, who somehow managed to score 27 points while only going 2-9 from the field. Taking 25 free throws (and making 22 of them) certainly will help a poor shooting night.

Harden became the first player in NBA history to score 27 points while making only two shots.

Despite Harden’s acumen from the charity stripe, what irked Randolph most was why Harden was at the free throw line with such alarming frequency, blaming the officiating crew of James Capers, Pat Fraher and Karl Lane … and not pulling any punches while doing so.

“It was horrible refereeing — a horrible game they reffed tonight,” Randolph continued. “Awful. They dictated the game. Plain, point simple. They dictated the game. We’re out here working as hard as them. Come on, man.”

Yep, criticizing the referees won’t sit well the NBA league office. Characterizing the refereeing as “horrible.” Ooh, you better believe that’s a paddlin’.

Alright, alright. Randolph will only be fined for his comments. There will be no literal paddlin’, just a paddlin’ of Zach Randolph’s pocketbook. If he has owns one.

UPDATE: According to a statement on NBA.com, to no surprise, Randolph has been fined $25,000 by the league for his inflammatory commentary. The fine was announced by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

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