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Last Two Minute Report says Warriors got hosed

The Warriors have no one but themselves to blame for letting Boston tie Thursday’s game in regulation. But in overtime, they were on the losing end of five incorrect calls.

Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics
Klay Thompson fouls out against Boston, though the NBA’s review said he got all ball.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors have played a lot of game short-handed this season. According to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report from Thursday’s loss to the Boston Celtics, they had to play the overtime period five-on-eight.

The NBA publishes an audit of all the officials’ calls in the last minutes for any games that were within three points in that stretch. Though the league backed up all of the calls in regulation, the Warriors got the short end of the stick on five different mistakes from the referees during overtime, including the incorrectly-called reach-in that gave Klay Thompson an unjustified sixth foul.

Boston was only disadvantaged by one call, the ball going out of bounds off Andrew Wiggins with three seconds remaining, which should have let the Celtics retain possession up three points. Of course, the only reason the ball was live was that the referees missed a 24-second violation with 6.3 seconds remaining, which would have greatly affected the Dubs’ chances of hitting a game-tying three. As it was, they had to settle for Jordan Poole’s desperation heave from midcourt.

Here’s a rundown of the Warriors’ bad luck in the extra period.

  1. Jayson Tatum should have been called for a defensive three seconds violation for straddling the lane with the Celtics leading 115-111. That would have resulted in a technical free throw and Warriors ball.
  2. Seconds later, the officials missed a foul on Malcolm Brogdon, who hit Jordan Poole’s arm as he drove to the basket, and then blocked his shot. It should have been two free throws.
  3. With 1:34 remaining, Al Horford stayed in the lane for more than three seconds, which should have been a turnover. Instead, Jayson Tatum made a three-pointer to give boston a 118-111 lead.
  4. Boston led 118-113 when Klay Thompson was whistled for a foul on Jaylen Brown, on a completely clean play. He hit the ball, then made incidental contact with Brown’s hand. Brown sold it by flailing his arms, but it shouldn’t have been a whistle at all, much less free throws. Brown made one of two freebies, and Thompson had to leave the game with six fouls.

5. Al Horford releases a shot after the 24-second clock runs out with 6.3 seconds left and the Celtics leading by three. Stan Van Gundy delivered a soliloquy about how amazing it was that Horford managed to hit the rim, but it should have been a side out for the Warriors with three extra seconds left.

What effect does the Last Two Minute Report have? Absolutely nothing. Maybe it helps the Warriors feel better about the loss, but we suspect it only makes then more upset to learn they were robbed. “Robbed” is actually the wrong word, as the officials weren’t trying to hurt the Warriors. It’s less like a robbery, and more like the Warriors lost their wallets after falling into a giant sinkhole that the city refused to pave, while a bunch of rabid fans in green shirts cheered the sinkhole on. This metaphor may have gone off the rails.

It’s also important to note that the Warriors wouldn’t have been vulnerable to missed calls in overtime had they not, once again, neglected to guard the three-point line in a late-game situation. Steve Kerr’s own last twenty-second report labeled it a “defensive breakdown,” and it’s not the referees’ fault that the Warriors couldn’t match up in transition after a made basket.

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