The Kings deserve an asterisk IMO for the 2002 playoffs, when IMO the referees stole a pivotal game from them in the playoffs against the Lakers. I think the Kings had the best team in the NBA that season.http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=220531013
The Lakers won thanks to O'Neal's brute brilliance and a steady parade to the free-throw line that infuriated the Kings, who felt the officials had caved in to O'Neal's week-long carping about disrespect and poor calls.
"I feel sorry for our team, because they did everything they could to win the game,'' Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "It's a shame, a real shame. ... Our big guys get 20 fouls, and Shaq gets four. You tell me. Obviously, they got the game called the way they wanted to get it called.
"We tried to play through it ... but obviously, it was a huge change tonight over the last few games.''
Los Angeles went nearly six minutes without a field goal down the stretch in the fourth quarter, but made 18 free throws over the final 6:21 to hold off the Kings. Bryant made four free throws in the final 19.8 seconds for the Lakers, who shot a jaw-dropping 27 free throws in the fourth.
I did not end well for the Kings.
(That was the worst-officiated game I had ever seen, but I think the Wizards recent loss to the Lakers might have been equally bad.)