Up by 21 at halftime, the Trail Blazers had just about everything going for them against the Wizards last night. But they then collapsed in the second half and ultimately went down in overtime, falling victim to a game-winning shot from a seemingly out-of-bounds Markieff Morris with 0.4 seconds remaining that was not called or reviewed.
It’s hard to tell from the first camera angle here, but the overhead shot appears to show Morris stepping outside on a dribble just before moving in to take the shot:
The play highlights some weirdness in the NBA’s instant replay guidelines. There are a few situations that trigger an automatic review if time is totally expired (any foul or made shot), and there are plenty more that encourage review if they occur in the final two minutes of fourth quarter or overtime. Out-of-bounds plays are included in that last set of plays, but the standard for reviewing them is somewhat finicky: “Referees can only initiate a review on a called out-of-bounds play (for example, not one where an out-of-bounds might have occurred) and only those involving doubt as to which player caused the ball to go out (not those, for example, where a player stepped on the line).”
Morris’s foot on the line before his game-winner doesn’t meet those qualifications, so as the referees didn’t call him on it instantly, there was no chance for review. Regardless, a much-needed win for the Wizards—who have now won five straight and are two and a half games in back of the first-place Cavaliers.