Why LeBron James was furious with Lakers bench, coaching staff: The King goes viral for reaction to call in Game 4

The Lakers kept their season alive behind yet another all-around performance from LeBron James.

Down 3-0 to Denver in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, James led Los Angeles to a Game 4 victory with a team-best 30 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists, three steals and one vintage block. The King saved his best for last with 14 points in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

Dominant of a showing as it was from James, a moment involving the 20-time All-Star and the team’s coaching staff in the fourth quarter went viral on social media.

Here’s what you need to know about why James was furious with the team’s bench.

MORE: When is Game 5 of Lakers vs. Nuggets?

Why LeBron James was furious with Lakers bench, coaching staff

The possession came with 9:10 remaining in the fourth quarter. The referees awarded Denver the ball after it appeared as though James poked the ball out of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s hands, but the replay showed that the Nuggets guard was the last one to touch it, not James.

James wanted the Lakers to challenge the call in the hopes of regaining possession and building on their double-digit lead, but head coach Darvin Ham and his staff decided not to. James wasn’t particularly happy with that decision.

To rub salt in the wound, Jamal Murray scored a layup on the out-of-bounds because the Lakers were too distracted.

Long-time reporter Rachel Nichols provided a closer look at James’ reaction:

Fortunately for James and the Lakers, it didn’t hurt them in the end, as they ended their losing streak against the Nuggets and forced a Game 5 in the first-round series.

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LeBron James Game 4 stats vs. Nuggets

  • 38:50 minutes
  • 30 points
  • 5 rebounds
  • 4 assists
  • 3 steals
  • 1 block
  • 6 turnovers
  • 14-23 field goal shooting
  • 0-2 3-point shooting
  • 2-2 free throw shooting


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