Kyrie Irving was one upset man following the Boston Celtics' 123-116 Game 3 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. After the Celtics were convincingly defeated for the second straight game by the Bucks -- this time at home -- Irving took his frustration out on the officials.
While it's true that the Bucks did dominate down low -- they outscored the Celtics 52-24 in the paint -- Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo ended up heading to the free-throw line for 22 attempts, making 16 of them.
After the game, Irving took a direct shot at the referees for blowing the whistle so many times when it pertained to Antetokounmpo. This is what Irving had to say following the game, via Ben Golliver of The Washington Post.
"It's inevitable (to get caught up in a run of foul calls). A guy comes down almost six times in a row and gets free throws. What are you really going to do? It's slowing the game down -- the run you would hope to make in a quarter like that. He shot 22 on the game. It's getting ridiculous at this point. It's just slowing the f---ing game down."
The Celtics led 56-55 entering halftime. For the last eight minutes of the third quarter, the Bucks were in the bonus, which led to Milwaukee taking control of the game. The Bucks outscored Boston, 40-31, in the third quarter -- which proved to be a deficit that the Celtics could not overcome.
Irving touched upon what type of impact that had on the Celtics' defense during that decisive third quarter.
"It's a playoff game. Guys are playing very aggressive. When you get into the bonus with eight minutes left in the third, it's a shocker. It will put something in your mind where you don't want to touch anyone. Any instance when you go into the bonus early on, it slows the game down."
While the third quarter obviously did not go in the Celtics' favor, the overall free throw shooting disparity between both sides wasn't large at all. In fact, the Bucks took 36 free throw attempts in comparison to the Celtics' 32 for the game.
Game 4 will take place on Monday night and you can be assured that all eyes will be on the NBA referees yet again. We'll see if the refs take a different approach towards calling fouls on Antetokounmpo following Irving's comments.