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"First one to fall down gets the call!"

Matt Bullard had the right idea. The only way to win tonight was to be the first player to fall down. Now, I know the Kings were on the wrong side of the worst officiated game of the last 20 years (Game 6 of 2002 Western Conference Finals versus Lakers), but tonight was almost as bad.

There are three ways to referee a basketball game:

1. Let them play. I tend to like this - the better players don't need to be coddled and those that want to play actual defense do not fear ticky tack fouls. Aggression tends to win here.

2. Call it tight. In certain games, I understand this as well. You can't let a game get out of control. So, you call a couple tight fouls early on to informally announce to the players that it will not be a wrestling match. Your calls just have to be consistent.

3. Completely fuck the whole thing up.

The referees tonight opted for Option #3. Now, I'm not saying they were "in favor" of the Kings or anyone. No - the Kings got it just as bad as the Rockets. Brad Miller's ejection was complete horseshit. Moore got dinged for two offensive fouls that were phantom at best.

I think Scott Wall (the white referee who wasn't Joe Forte) just didn't want to be there tonight. He never blew the whistle early on. Except to call the Ts on Miller.

They even called a T on Dikembe for doing his trademark finger wag... even though Dikembe has direct permission from Godfather Stern himself to wag that finger!!!! What did he need tonight? A fucking court order? Apparently so!

Yes, it was that bad, the referees even ignored the directions of the Commissioner.

Poor Carl Landry wasn't even allowed to play tonight. Set a pick? Foul. Get position on defense? Foul. Get run over by Kevin Martin? Sit your ass down for your 5th foul!

McGrady went o-for whatever he shot in the fourth quarter, even though he was hacked on everything. Including the last second shot. It's hard to make a 15 foot jump shot as the meat in a Kings sandwich. Real hard.

The worst call of the night brought back memories of Yao and the Golden State game from December... Chuck Hayes was positioned solidly for 2 full seconds. Maybe longer. He did not move. He did not extend his arms. He did not shift his feet or even breathe. Rafer took the pick, made the shot.............. but it was waved off because apparently picks were illegal tonight. Garcia fell down when he ran into Hayes, and Joe Forte called a pity foul. Words cannot describe how bad Forte fucked up that call.

This was a game of two halves. The first half was a "let 'em play, we are too tired to blow the whistle tonight." Second half? Different story. Players were adjusted to a more physical game, only to have the rug pulled out from under them. 53 total fouls called in this game. 5 each on Battier, Hayes and Landry. Scola "only" had 4. Mikki Moore had 5 for the Kings. Ron Artest? He who fouls more than anyone in the NBA? Only 3 fouls. Un-be-fucking-lievable.

Rockets could not afford to lose tonight. Refs didn't give a shit.

Now - the Rockets did not lose because of the referees. The inconsistent calls just put T-Mac and Rafer on tilt... and we couldn't close out the game.

Two questions I would like answered though. (1) There is one minute left in the game and the Rockets are down by 1. The play? An isolation for Chuck Hayes. Who takes a left-handed hook shot that naturally misses. Chuck Hayes was our best option!??! (2) With 35 seconds left, Rafer decides to win the game by tossing the ball off the backboard to himself. Not surprisingly, it leads to a jump ball against a much taller man. What. The. Fuck?

Final score? Kings 99, Rockets not enough. Fuck, fuck, FUCK!

New gameplan: Give Luis Scola the damn ball.