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Tim Donaghy On Game 4: Just What The League Needed

Tim Donaghy, the former NBA referee who spent 11 months in prison for relaying inside information to gamblers, is reviewing the performance of his former colleagues during the NBA Finals. Here's a quarter-by-quarter breakdown of Game 4, with accompanying video.

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4 | Game 5 | Game 6 | Game 7


The league got exactly what it needed last night: a game with very little controversy. Best job by the officials in the NBA Finals so far.


11:23 [LAL 2-0] Paul Pierce gets fouled before his shooting motion begins. Should not be two shots.

4:27 [LAL 12-11] Blocking foul called on Derek Fisher. Good call. He hasn't established a legal guarding position when contact is made.

2:31 [TIE 14-14] Cheap foul called on Kendrick Perkins. Pau Gasol is causing the contact and banging into him. Perkins holds his position in a legal guarding position.


1:06 [BOS 16-14] Foul called before the shooting motion begins, a lot like the one at 11:23.

:24.9 [BOS 16-14] Gasol drives the lane and loses his balance. The official is fooled and awards two free throws to L.A.



9:20 [TIE 24-24] Most officials will let this one go. Lamar Odom makes contact, but Glen Davis is able to retain the rebound. In the NBA, officials will often hold the whistle after slight contact and wait to see if the ball is lost. If it is, then they make the call.


5:42 [BOS 29-28] Another questionable call going against Rasheed Wallace. The official has a bad angle. The ball goes straight down to the floor, which is a sign that Wallace gets all ball. Had he hit Gasol's arm, the ball would've flown out at an angle.

3:25 [LAL 37-33] Bryant palms the ball. He comes to a rest and then dribbles again. Violation missed.


1:03 [LAL 43-38] Incorrect call. Bryant slides into the path of Pierce. He needs to establish position prior to contact.


11:02 [LAL 45-42] Ray Allen runs into Fisher and causes the contact. He's given two free throws anyway.


8:46 [LAL 49-48] Fisher is fouled by Allen on his jump shot. No call.

8:39 [LAL 54-48] This should not be a three-second violation on Kevin Garnett. The whistle blows with 20 seconds remaining on the 24-second shot clock. The Celtics are furious, but the official probably saved Garnett a foul on the push-off.


5:17 [LAL 53-52] Fisher holds Allen. Good foul call. This match-up is way too physical. Officials will discuss this and tighten up on both of them.

5:09 [LAL 53-52] Garnett travels prior to making this jump shot. He gets away with a big hop before rising for the shot.



7:25 [BOS 74-66] Foul on Wallace. Not sure what he's complaining about. This is an obvious hack. He's hit with a technical foul, too, which is also correct.


1:17 [BOS 87-81] This is an offensive foul on Pierce. Bryant is set before Pierce goes into his shooting motion.

1:08 [BOS 90-81] A make-up call. This isn't a foul on Allen. Also, the official is reffing the score here. Officials always do this toward the end of games to pad the box score. It adds fouls to the winning team and free throws to the losing team, whose stats look a little better as a result.


Tim Donaghy is a former NBA referee and the author of Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA. Follow him on Facebook here.

Video editing by David Matthews.

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