(Photo: TNT coverage of game 5)
With 11.3 seconds remaining of last night’s game 5 match between the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder, a very close play is decided in favor of the Thunder which helped them secure a miraculously come from behind victory over the Clippers, 105-104. After the game, the Clippers were livid and crying injustice over that controversial play.
The play in question took place late in the 4th quarter with the Clippers clinging on to a 104-102 lead. Chris Paul has the inbound pass stripped by Russell Westbrook who then passes it to a cutting Reggie Jackson. Jackson attacks the basket but the lone defender there to protect the basket, Matt Barnes, hits the ball out of his hands and goes out of bounds with 11.3 seconds remaining on the clock. The officials do not call the foul on Barnes but award the ball to the Thunder. The officials review the play but to the dismay of the Clippers, they decide that the ball should remain in the Thunder’s possession, citing after the game that there wasn’t conclusive evidence to overturn the call on the court.
Following the game, Clippers coach Doc Rivers unleashes a tirade during his press conference. Rivers said the Clippers were “robbed” by the officials and claiming that it made as a means of making up for the missed foul call on the play.
“Everybody knows it was our ball. I think the bottom line is they thought it was a foul and they made up for it.” Rivers said.
Well, the NBA provided their response to the controversial call and they do not agree with Doc, confirming that the official’s call was the correct one.
“In order to reverse the call made on the court, there has to be `clear and conclusive’ evidence. Since no replay provided such evidence, the play correctly stood as called with the Thunder retaining possession.” Said Rod Thorn, NBA President of Basketball Operations, in a statement released by the NBA.
The dejected Doc Rivers and Los Angeles Clippers have until Thursday to get over their missed opportunity and anger over the missed the call when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center in what is now an elimination game. Call or no call, it’s win or go home for the Clippers.
– Fern Rea
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