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The Portland Trail Blazers coughed up a three-point lead in the final 30 seconds Tuesday night, January 23, losing to the host Oklahoma City Thunder, 111-109.
Now the Blazers reportedly hope the NBA grants them a do-over.
Portland plans to protest the result to the league, ESPN reported, arguing that the referees erred by not granting a timeout before a crucial turnover.
With the Trail Blazers ahead 109-108, Portland’s Malcolm Brogdon dribbled the ball over halfcourt but was trapped. Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups, behind the play, signaled for a timeout that wasn’t granted, and Brogdon put the ball on the floor again, getting called for a double-dribble with 15.6 seconds to play.
Billups ran at a referee to argue and was hit with a technical foul. When he remained on the court pursuing the ref, a second referee assessed a second technical foul, ejecting Billups from the game.
Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made one of the two technical free throws to tie the game, and Jalen Williams subsequently sank an 18-foot shot for the win.
Billups said of the disputed sequence, “We’ve got timeouts. Referees usually are prepared for that, you know, that instance, that situation. I’m at halfcourt, trying to call a timeout. It’s just frustrating. My guys played too hard for that. It’s a frustrating play.”
Referee crew chief Bill Kennedy, speaking to a pool reporter, said, “The referee in the slot position was refereeing the double-team that was right in front of him, which makes it difficult for number one to hear, and number two to see a coach request a timeout behind him. He is taught to referee the play until completion, which a double-dribble happens, and he correctly calls the double-dribble and then pursuant (to that) the technical fouls come forward.”
Per ESPN, the Blazers will have five days to provide evidence to the NBA regarding the protest, and the league will then have five days to issue a ruling. – Rappler.com