NBA officials say the refs blew a crucial call against the Houston Rockets during Saturday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In particular, the play has to do with the last 24 seconds of regulation when Rockets guard Eric Gordon and Thunder guard Dennis Schröder tumbled into the ground on an inbound pass by Houston’s PJ Tucker. The ball went out of bounds without being touched.
The play was reviewed - over who touched the ball last - but the refs didn’t call a foul.
The ball was given to OKC, and Thunder’s Shai-Gilgeous Alexander went on to score a go-ahead 3-pointer. The Rockets were able to tie the game up and send it into overtime but eventually lost 119-107.
In its Last Two Minute Report, the NBA says Schröder should have been called for a foul. The Rockets should have received a free throw, plus the ball out of bounds.
“Schroder (OKC) wraps his right arm across the front of Gordon’s (HOU) body, which dislodges him during the inbound,” the league said.
That wasn’t the only controversial thing to happen in the game.
The league said the refs got the call right against Chris Paul when he and James Harden got wrapped up before the ball was put into play late in the fourth. Paul was determined to have committed a foul, and Harden was sent to the line for one free throw, and Houston kept possession.
“After communicating with the Replay Center, it was determined that the contact first initiated by Paul (OKC) on Harden (HOU) occurred prior to the release of the inbound pass,” league officials stated.
One call that had Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni pretty upset was when Paul pushed off against Rockets guard Ben McLemore in OT and caught him with a hit below the belt.
“I tried to get by him. It was incidental,” Paul said to ESPN. “I know when I did it on purpose, that was in college. That was a long time ago. I checked on Ben, he said he was fine. I know Mike. He’s gonna get mad, he’s gonna yell and scream. He got a tech. We move on.”
Paul was called for an offensive foul, but D’Antoni asked for the play to be reviewed for a possible flagrant foul, but no review happened.
Who knows?” D’Antoni said when asked why it wasn’t reviewed, ESPN’s Royce Young reported. “I asked the referee to just go over and review it. He might have been right. I didn’t have it clear, but I know my guy got hit in a bad place with an elbow, so go look at it. If you’re right, you’re right. So be it. But it’s not like in the bubble, we have — must be entertainment going on somewhere, because what else do we have to do but just go over and look at it, come back and play basketball?”