LeBron seemingly protests foul calls with hands-free defense vs. Rockets
Bob Levey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

LeBron James appeared to show up the referees Thursday by placing his hands behind his back while on defense in the third quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers' 126-111 loss to the Houston Rockets.

"Just trying to defend without fouling," James said postgame, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "That's a point of emphasis anytime you play Houston. They got guys that can sell calls really good - Chris (Paul) and James (Harden) - so you got to try to keep your hands out of the cookie jar."

The Rockets' collective ability to draw fouls was on full display. Led by 18-of-19 free-throw shooting from reigning Most Valuable Player James Harden, the Rockets went 27-of-32 from the charity stripe. In comparison, the Lakers shot 27 free throws, connecting on 15.

"How hard is it to play defense like that? It's tough," Lakers coach Luke Walton said of the display. "I think they were just trying to make a point: 'We're not using our arms here. Stop calling fouls.'"

Ironically, the Rockets actually finished with more fouls called against them (24) than the Lakers (21).

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LeBron seemingly protests foul calls with hands-free defense vs. Rockets
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