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Critical first-half foul call disturbs World Peace, Lakers

Metta World Peace has been a force for the Lakers lately. But he was forced to sit out much of Tuesday's loss to San Antonio after being saddled with his third foul early in the game on a 'ridiculous' call.

April 18, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Metta World Peace was removed from Tuesday night's game after picking up his third foul, leading to an 18-0 run by the San Antonio Spurs.
Metta World Peace was removed from Tuesday night's game after picking… (Harry How / Getty Images )

The name might suggest otherwise, but Metta World Peace hardly sounded interested in being diplomatic.

His frustration over the Lakers' 111-92 loss Tuesday to the San Antonio Spurs stemmed from getting into early foul trouble. He picked up his third after officials called him for charging over Spurs guard Gary Neal with 8:11 left in the second quarter.

"It was ridiculous," said World Peace, who posted 11 points on four-of-11 shooting, three rebounds, three assists, three steals and two turnovers. "I came into the lane and it's not my fault these guys can't guard me. They gave me a foul just for being big. "

Lakers Coach Mike Brown said World Peace's getting his third foul was a huge turning point in the game. Three minutes after Brown removed him from the lineup, the Lakers collapsed. The Spurs reeled off an 18-0 run, while the Lakers committed five of their 19 turnovers during that stretch.

Before, the Lakers would have barely missed World Peace. But in a 10-game stretch in April he's averaged 14.3 points on 47.8% shooting, made hustle plays, kept the defense organized and ensured the Lakers played at an even tempo.

"It hurt," Lakers guard Ramon Sessions said of World Peace's departure in the second quarter. "Metta has been big for us on the defensive and offensive end. It set us back a little bit."

World Peace returned in the second half and provided more hustle plays. He set up Andrew Bynum and Matt Barnes on fast-break drives. He also converted on two baskets after grabbing steals. But those plays came too late, as the Lakers trailed 91-70 entering the fourth quarter.

"It was a mistake, but it's not the time to make those type of calls," World Peace said. "The same way we have to be locked in as players, you got to be locked in at refereeing. Don't make calls like that. Just try to make better calls. "

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