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Last 2 Minute Report reveals refs missed several calls in Warriors’ loss to Celtics

© David Butler II | 2023 Jan 19

A frenetic end to regulation and overtime included multiple blown calls that went in Boston’s favor during the Warriors’ Thursday night 121-118 Finals rematch loss.

Five of the six calls — or non-calls — deemed incorrect in the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report went against Golden State. Each instance occurred in the five-minute overtime period in which the Celtics pulled away.

The first two misses came on the same play, with the Warriors possessing the ball down four points in overtime. Jayson Tatum, who finished with 34 points and 19 rebounds, should have been whistled for a defensive three second violation, according to the L2M. He had one foot slightly inside the paint and didn’t affect the play.

But one second after Tatum should have been whistled — at least according to the letter of the law — the refs missed another call. This one was much more blatant, as Malcolm Brogdon clocked Jordan Poole on the arm as Poole glided in for a layup attempt.

Brogdon’s block led to a Tatum 3-pointer on the other end, a major swing that put Boston up seven.

The officials later missed a three-second call on Al Horford, but that miss was inconsequential compared to their fourth blown call, which ejected Klay Thompson from the game.

Thompson, defending Jaylen Brown while already having five fouls to his name, swiped down for a strip and was whistled for a shooting foul. The L2M Report deemed his block clean, as he contacted the ball first and then made incidental contact with Brown.

Then, the biggest miss of the night came with 6.3 seconds left. The Warriors played terrific defense for the full 24-second possession, forcing Al Horford into a prayer as the shot clock expired. On the floor, Horford’s miss was ruled legal, and precious time ticked off the game clock as the Warriors corralled his miss. The L2M Report concluded the ball was still in Horford’s hands when the shot clock rang.

The play wasn’t reviewed in the moment. If it had, the Warriors would have had 6.3 seconds to push up the floor for a last shot instead of three. Jordan Poole’s 3-point heave at the end of the game wasn’t close, and the Celtics escaped with the 121-118 win.

The one call that went in Golden State’s favor was when the referees awarded the Warriors the ball even though it had knocked off Andrew Wiggins. But that action would have been moot had the officials gotten the 24-second violation correct.

The biggest reason for Golden State’s loss wasn’t the officiating, but rather defending in transition. They let Brown step into a wide open 3-pointer to tie the game and then later failed to retreat on defense, allowing an easy leak-out dunk in OT. There were no officials to blame on those plays.

Golden State treated the Thursday night contest like a playoff game, tweaking their starting lineup and playing their stars heavy minutes because they knew four of five starters would likely sit for Friday’s back-to-back in Cleveland.


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