NBA says refs missed two late calls in Celtics win over Sixers


NEW YORK, United States – Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid was right in thinking he was fouled with 14.6 seconds left in his team's season-ending playoff loss to the Boston Celtics, the NBA confirmed Thursday, May 10.

In the league's Last Two Minute Report on officiating in the late stages of the Celtics' 114-112 triumph, the league said game officials missed two key calls against Boston.

Celtics center Aron Baynes should have been called for a shooting foul when Sixers big man Embiid attempted a game-tying layup with 14.6 seconds remaining. 

The report said Baynes made "contact to Embiid's arm that affects his shot attempt near the rim."  

"I mean the play unfolded, and I mean the refs, they had a great game, I thought they were great tonight," Embiid said after the game that saw the Celtics advance to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.

"But I mean I felt like there was something on that last play, but you can't really do anything about it. But they did a great job the whole night."

The report also confirmed officials missed a travelling violation on Celtics guard Marcus Smart with 1.5 seconds remaining when he intercepted Ben Simmons' desperation full-court pass from the opposite baseline.

That call would have given Philadelphia the ball back.

The despite the disappointment of their playoff exit, the young 76ers were sounding a note of optimism after an overachieving season that included 52 regular-season wins and their first playoff series victory since 2012.

Embiid, who missed his first two seasons after being drafted in 2014 and suffered a knee injury last season, is expecting to make great strides after staying healthy and playing 71 games in the 2017-18 campaign.

"This is my first year going into a summer healthy," he said. "I think next year is going to be an MVP type season for me.

"I want to be a leader. Being an MVP candidate shows you bring your team to where it has to go, and I want to be that type of guy.

"I have a lot of room to grow – post moves, ball handling, passing. But I think it starts with my body." –