With just about a shot clock’s worth of time left in the fourth quarter in last night’s Clippers-Rockets game, Blake Griffin rose and missed a layup that would have tied the game at 107. His follow-up also missed, thanks in part to Dwight Howard tipping it away when it was above the cylinder.
This is certainly illegal interference, which, in fairness to the officials, is one of the hardest calls to determine in the moment. The NBA even admitted they missed the call. There was a brief video review, but it was only to figure out who would get the ball on the out of bounds play. The Rockets eventually took it 109-105, and the Clippers were understandably frustrated.
After the game, Doc Rivers said:
“It was a goaltend. [The referee] just wasn’t sure from what they said. I thought that’s why we put that rule in though. So, in the last two minutes, if you’re not sure, blow the whistle. [If they had called the goaltending], they could have reviewed.“
This is a particularly brutal loss for the Clips, since it came against the Rockets who bounced them from the playoffs in impressive fashion last season. L.A. is entrenched in their ‘us-against-the-world,’ so losing in this manner to this team has to be rough, especially without Chris Paul. They will have to wait a month to get another shot, and this time they’ll have even more to get fired up about.
Screencap via YouTube