When Kevin Huerter missed his game-tying attempt Monday night, he and his Sacramento Kings teammates swarmed the referee who swallowed his whitle on the play. Today, the NBA confirmed they were right.
The NBA puts out a report on all the calls made in the final two minutes of a close game called the Last Two Minute Report. Last night’s report confirmed that Klay Thompson did indeed make contact with Huerter’s arm, affecting his shot, and Huerter should have gone to the line for three free throws that could have tied the game. And before that, Steph curry should have been whistled for a travel with 16.6 seconds to go.
Coach Mike Brown was understandably unhappy, and summed up the experience of so many people in America’s Farm-To-Fork Capital: “It’s tough being a Sacramento King.”
Mike Brown didn't mince his words after the crucial no-call pic.twitter.com/x8huyV6NT7— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) November 8, 2022
“Kevin got fouled,” the Kings coach told reporters. “I know there’s missed calls throughout the course of the game...I just want, at the end of the game, someone to step up and make the right call. A guy gets hit on the arm shooting a three? That’s a foul. A guy takes six steps, or three, four steps? It’s a travel. We just want an opportunity to win in overtime.”
It’s unclear whether the guy taking “six steps” was a reference to Curry in the final seconds (an incorrect no-call as per the NBA), or if Brown was talking about Tyler Herro, who traveled before his game-winner against the Kings last week, according to the L2M Report. In both cases, the Kings were robbed of chances to extend the game - either by Huerter shooting free throws or getting their own chance to win in regulation, had the Miami game been called correctly.
Sacramento fell to 3-6, and three of the losses came by three points or less. The one time they did go to overtime, De’Aaron Fox hit a spectacular game-winner from the logo to defeat Orlando, something Steph and Klay couldn’t do in the final seconds themselves.
“To have two games on the road where the whistle is swallowed, and then there’s a missed call?” Brown concluded, not mincing words. “That’s tough man. That’s tough on my guys in that locker room. ‘Cause they’re fighting their behind off.”
OK, maybe using “behind” was mincing words a bit, but we appreciate the coach keeping things G-rated. Will the Last Two Minute Report make him and his team feel better? No, of course not. It’s going to make them feel worse. Especially Huerter, who like Marshawn Lynch, just doesn’t want to get fined.
Only thing we can do at this point is get fined. Zero accountability— Kevin Huerter (@KevinHuerter) November 8, 2022
But even though it’s another loss for the Kings, the week has cemented Coach Brown as a true Sacramento King. Because there is nothing more Kings than getting screwed over by NBA refs. Welcome to River City, coach.