James Harden fined $25,000 for criticism of referee Scott Foster after loss to Lakers

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

Houston Rockets star James Harden was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his criticism of the officiating after their 111-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night at the Staples Center, the league announced on Saturday.

Harden fouled out late in the fourth quarter after scoring 30 points in the loss — extending his historic scoring streak to 32 games — but was extremely critical of referee Scott Foster.

“Scott Foster … I never really talk about officiating, but he’s just rude and arrogant,” Harden said after the game.

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He went even further, too.

“For sure, it’s personal,” Harden said. “For sure. I don’t think he should be able to even officiate our games anymore, honestly.”

The reigning league MVP said he knew a fine was likely coming after those comments, but he didn’t care. He said he was “frustrated with Foster’s demeanor on the court” because they can’t talk to each other during the game and they can’t build a relationship that way.

James Harden was fined $25,000 for criticizing the officials after the Rockets’ loss against the Lakers on Thursday. (AP/Jim Mone)
James Harden was fined $25,000 for criticizing the officials after the Rockets’ loss against the Lakers on Thursday. (AP/Jim Mone)

Foster called 12 fouls on the Rockets in the game on Thursday — including seven in the fourth quarter and a technical foul on Chris Paul with just 33 seconds left in overtime.

Paul, naturally, wasn’t happy with Foster after the game, either.

“I don’t know what else to do, know what I mean?” Paul said. “I met with the league with [Foster] before and all this stuff. I don’t know what else to do.”

The Lakers, after trailing by 19 points in the third quarter, rallied back behind a 23-11 run and outscored the Rockets 28-16 in the fourth quarter to snag the first win back from the All-Star break.

Harden finished with 30 points, six assists and six rebounds in the loss, shooting 11-of-24 from the field.

Harden out against Warriors

Harden will not play on Saturday night when the Rockets take on the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, coach Mike D’Antoni announced Saturday afternoon.


Harden is currently dealing with a cervical strain in his neck, and also battling flu-like symptoms. It’s not clear when Harden first suffered the neck injury, but he did receive treatment on his shoulder and neck on the bench on Thursday against the Lakers.

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