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NBA says refs missed five calls in final 13 seconds of Spurs-Thunder

Spurs fall to Thunder in Game 2, series tied 1-1

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO – The NBA announced on Tuesday the referees who officiated Monday night's Spurs-Thunder playoff game missed a total of five calls in the final 13.5 seconds of the fourth quarter.

Here's a quick description of the fouls, according to the NBA's Last Two Minute Report, which assesses officials' late-game performances.

(Note: You can read the full document below, which is also available online at official.nba.com.

1. Manu Ginobili should have been assessed with a delay of game for stepping on the sideline during the final inbounds play.

2. Dion Waiters should have been assessed an offensive foul after he crossed the sideline and made contact with Ginobili to make the inbounds pass.

3. Patty Mills grabbed and fouled Steven Adams during the inbounds play.

4. Kawhi Leonard grabbed Russell Westbrook's jersey during the inbounds play.

5. Serge Ibaka grabbed and held LaMarcus Aldridge's jersey during final 2.6 seconds of game.  

Late Monday night, referees admitted that they missed the offensive foul call on Waiters, but the full report had not been released by the NBA.

Waiters’ pass was stolen by San Antonio, but the Spurs were unable to convert in the final seconds of their 98-97 loss.

A pool reporter spoke to NBA referee crew chief Ken Mauer about the non-call after the game. This was Mauer’s explanation via an official transcript released after the game:

”On the floor, we did not see a foul on the play, however, upon review we realized and we agree that we should have had an offensive foul on the play. It's a play that we have never seen before, ever, but we feel we should have had an offensive foul on Waiters," Mauer told the reporter.

Mauer added that an offensive foul should have been called on Waiters and possession should have gone to the Spurs.

For his part, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said during the postgame press conference that the team did not execute well on offense, but when questioned about the non-call, Popovich added: “Something certainly happened on the sideline, I thought.”

Monday night’s non-call was another controversial moment for NBA officials in the 2016 playoffs.

The NBA announced earlier in the postseason that fouls should have been called on James Harden’s game-winning shot in Game 3 of the Warriors-Rockets first round series and a foul should have been called on Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan during the late stages of Game 7 of the Raptors-Pacers series.

The NBA has come down harshly on officials in the past, and at times will suspend referees for improper behavior.

 

The one instance that comes to mind was the Joey Crawford-Tim Duncan incident in April 2007 when Crawford was suspended for his conduct and ejection of Duncan. 

The Spurs were also involved in another bizarre officiating incident when the NBA upheld a San Antonio protest in November 1982 and the final seconds of a regular season game against the Los Angeles Lakers were replayed months later.

A formal protest was not publicly discussed or expected from the Spurs who said the game is over and they will move on. Games 3 and 4 will be played Friday and Sunday in Oklahoma City.

NBA Last Two Minute Official Report from Spurs Thunder Game 2 by RJ Marquez


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