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Hours After Apologizing For Referees’ Actions, Kristaps Porzingis Doubles Down on Frustration After Hornets Upset

Published 11/20/2023, 11:38 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The Charlotte Hornets broke their losing streak with an OT win over the number one favorites for the title win – the Boston Celtics. When it looked like the Celtics were going to take this win, Charlotte hit back with a vengeance. But Kristaps Porzingis, one of the Celtics’ off-season acquisitions, wasn’t too happy with the referees.

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The fourth quarter saw them scoring nine points, forcing the overtime. And the OT saw Miles Bridges take center stage. With just 6.6 seconds on the clock, his clutch 3-pointer turned the tide in their favor. The result – 121-118 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Kristaps Porzingis on the Celtics’ loss


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The Grizzlies game had seen Porzingis getting four personal fouls. He wasn’t happy with this and his frustration led to his last-second block on Zaire Williams’ 18-foot shot. He even apologized for the aggressiveness post-game, but tonight’s loss seems to have reopened that wound. Talking to the media after the game, Porzingis said the Celtics “definitely” should have had more time after their final foul.

“I guess the whistle was late, that’s why the time kept going. I don’t know, they had some explanation but it was during the game and I was like, ‘OK, it just looks like we’re going to keep going.’ There definitely should have been more time on the clock,” he said.


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The remarks came after Porzingis had earlier expressed his frustration with the referees’ actions in the previous game against the Grizzlies. During that game, both teams scrambled to have the last word. Or, in this case, the last shot or a block. This was precisely what Porzingis did when he noticed they had only 7 seconds left to make or break the deal. Zaire Williams was sure his 18-foot shot would go in when Porzingis shot forward to block it. And the buzzer sounded, earning the Celtics a hard-fought victory.

Porzingis had got four personal fouls in the game, which added to his aggression and led to the last-second block. Speaking to the media after the game, he said the calls and the fouls that he picked up made him frustrated and he vented it out at Zhaire Williams. Apologizing to the player, he said, “I knew it was low on time. It was just instinct to jump forward and block. Honestly, it was a bit like too much emotion… I want to almost apologize to him about my body language towards the end.”

He added that it was such an emotional game and the referees and calls kept adding up throughout the game and it led to emotions coming out towards the end of the game.

In today’s match, Jayson Tatum didn’t have a good night either, despite scoring 45 points. With only 5.2 seconds left, Tatum missed a free throw that could have tied the game. But what really got to Tatum was an 11-point lead that Boston didn’t make. “We have to regroup. We had six wins in a row and it’s easy to get complacent and we paid for it tonight,” the 4x NBA All-Star said. Clearly, the top title contenders of this season are not going to let go of that easily.

Why the Celtics’ acquisition of Porzingis was the right move

When the Celtics traded Marcus Smart for Kristaps Porzingis in a three-way trade, there were mixed reactions. From fans and analysts. Many believed it was an utter blunder while others were confident in the change. But the Latvian big man proves the fact himself.

Snubbing 2 Incredible Personal Moments, Kristaps Porzingis Reveals Selfless Intentions With Celtics’ Big-4

The biggest skill of the former NBA All-Star is catching the ball and quick thinking. Not to mention, his ability to take open shots from beyond the three-point line, space the floor, and work as a screener makes the Celtics’s offense lethal.


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His rim protection is on an elite level and Porzingis’ perimeter guarding has given him the recognition of being an impactful defender. Mixing him into the Tatum-Brown mix is the recipe for a deadly nightmare for any opposing team.

USA Today via Reuters

Tatum has also recognized the big man’s talents. “[Porzingis] makes the game easier for myself and everybody else,” he acknowledged. “His versatility, ability to stretch the floor, and shoot anywhere. When he’s open, find him.”


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Boston will be going back to face the second-favorite championship contender on Wednesday night. Hopefully, the Bay State can find this chemistry and put them to good use on their home court.

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Written by:

Geisha Pulimoottil Don


One take at a time

Geisha is an NBA content writer at EssentiallySports. Having years of experience as a content writer, she focuses on providing in-depth coverage of the basketball entities. The increased use of technology in studying the game and its intricacies intrigues her.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe