LeBron James was involved in a minor dust-up with NBA referee Scott Foster during the Los Angeles Lakers' Game 3 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
James and the Lakers started on a fast break when Foster got in James’ way. The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Lakers superstar didn’t see the referee as he ran down the court.
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Foster took a hit to the mouth and was bleeding from his lip when the play was over. The ESPN microphones caught James and Foster’s interaction as the longtime official was trying to get his lip to stop bleeding. James was apologizing and Austin Reaves joked that his teammate should get a technical foul for the play.
“You’ve been wanting to do that for 25 years,” Foster quipped.
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James had 23 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds in the game, but the Lakers fell short 119-108. Los Angeles came back from a 14-point deficit but couldn’t stop Denver down the stretch.
No team has even come back from a 3-0 deficit in a playoff matchup. James famously led the Cleveland Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 Finals.
“I can’t speak for the guys right now because I don’t know what’s going through all their minds, but I still (believe),” James said. “So it’s time to go right back home and start to refuel and start the treatment process and recovery process and get ready for Monday. My mindset is always locked in.”
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Game 4 is Monday night in Los Angeles. Denver has never been to an NBA Finals.