Jayson Tatum hit a playoff career high Tuesday night, and Nick Nurse believes he has the referees to thank.
Tatum dropped 34 points in the Boston Celtics' 102-99 win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 despite going 8-of-17 from the floor, as he connected on 14 of 14 free throws.
The Raptors, meanwhile, attempted just 19 free throws as a team. Those numbers weren't lost on Nurse after the game.
"The only frustrating part about it is this: He shoots 14 free throws, which is as much as our whole team shoots," the Raptors head coach told reporters. "That’s the frustrating part. I think our guys were working hard on him and we were doing a pretty good job. He did make some good shots.
"They were obviously getting him the ball a lot, getting him in space. We could’ve helped a little bit better here and there. But they (did) take very good care of him tonight."
Nurse quickly added a "no comment" when asked if he had issues with the officiating, but it's pretty clear where he stands.
This might be Nurse's tactic of influencing how Tatum is called in the series going forward. (Tatum's 14 free throw attempts were one shy of his season high.)
We'll find out Thursday in Game 3 -- but until then, the NBA Coach of the Year might be hearing from the league.