Thunder-Clippers: NBA says officials made correct call on Jackson-Barnes play in Game 5

The controversial possession ruling made by the officials with 11.3 seconds remaining Tuesday, and upheld following replay review, was deemed the correct call by the league office Wednesday. NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn clarified the call in a written statement.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 14, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Doc Rivers put on a good show.

But the NBA, a day after the Los Angeles Clippers coach ranted and raved about what he perceived to be a blown call near the conclusion of his team’s Game 5 loss to the Thunder, ruled he was wrong.

The controversial possession ruling made by the officials with 11.3 seconds remaining Tuesday, and upheld following replay review, was deemed the correct call by the league office Wednesday.

NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn clarified the call in a written statement sent out Wednesday evening.

“With 11.3 seconds left in the game, the basketball went out of bounds on the baseline and the referees ruled the ball belonged to the Thunder,” Thorn said. “The referees then used instant replay to review the play. In order to reverse the call made on the court, there has to be ‘clear and conclusive’ evidence. Since no replay provided such evidence, the play correctly stood as called with the Thunder retaining possession.”

Rivers ripped the officiating crew in his postgame press conference for ruling that the ball went off of the Clippers instead of Thunder guard Reggie Jackson. It set up a 3-point attempt by Russell Westbrook, who was fouled by Chris Paul on the shot and awarded three free throws. Westbrook made all three to give the Thunder a 105-104 win.

It was a bizarre ending to a crazy comeback in which the Thunder rallied from a 13-point deficit in the final four minutes to take a 3-2 series lead heading into Thursday night’s Game 6.

In issuing its statement, the NBA also removed the perception of a tainted win by the Thunder.

“We ain’t going to talk about just the last play,” said Kevin Durant. “How about the six plays we made before those fouls that we made to put us in position? So a lot of people aren’t going to talk about that. They’re going to just talk about what happened at the end. I think we fought so hard, we went through so much adversity to come out on top, it’s kind of a shame people are going to try and take that from us because of the last few calls. But sometimes that’s how the game goes.”

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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