J.B. Bickerstaff and Darius Garland call out officiating after latest Cavs loss to Celtics

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and guard Darius Garland both expressed their frustration with the officiating in Game 4 of their playoff series with the Boston Celtics.

The Cavs, who were without Donovan Mitchell (calf) and Jarrett Allen (ribs) in Game 4, lost 109-102 to Boston to fall behind 3-1 in the series. While the team competed without two of its best players, it still wasn’t enough to beat the No. 1-seeded Celtics, even in Cleveland.

After the loss, Bickerstaff said he was “disappointed” with how the game was called.

Cleveland only shot seven free throws on Monday night, going 5-of-7 from the line. Meanwhile, Boston attempted 24 free throws, making 21 of them.

Garland pointed out that two of the free throws that the Cavs attempted came on technical fouls, meaning the team got very few calls when driving the ball to the basket in Game 4.

Garland, who finished the game with 30 points on 12-of-27 shooting from the field, was 2-of-2 at the line. He and Evan Mobley (2-of-3 from the line) were the only Cavs players with more than one attempt at the charity stripe on Monday.

It’s understandable that the Cavs are frustrated about their lack of chances to get easier looks from the charity stripe, especially since Jayson Tatum (nine free-throw attempts) and Jaylen Brown (nine-free throw attempts) both took more shots from the line than the entire Cavs team combined.

With Mitchell and Allen out, the Cavs have a lot less scoring in the lineup, which makes it tough on them to generate offense. If Cleveland could have gotten a few more looks from the line, it may have been able to pull off an upset in Game 4 and even the series.

Now, the Cavs are facing an uphill battle to reach the Eastern Conference Finals, especially since it’s unclear if Allen or Mitchell will be ready to go for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Boston is just one win away from ending the series, which would set up a matchup with the winner of the New York Knicks-Indiana Pacers series.

Game 5 between the Celtics and Cavs is scheduled to tip off Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST from TD Garden in Boston.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.