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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

/articleid/4818410/1/pictures/2642838">Photo - Clippers coach Doc Rivers shouts towards official Bennett Salvatore after the a possession call late in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Clippers coach Doc Rivers shouts towards official Bennett Salvatore after the a possession call late in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

The possession ruling was one of three critical and controversial calls in the final 15 seconds. Paul claimed he didn’t foul Westbrook on his 3-point attempt, although photographic evidence shows Paul making contact with Westbrook’s right elbow. And on the Clippers’ final possession, Jackson appeared to pull Paul’s right arm as he attempted a pass to Griffin underneath the basket. It resulted in a turnover. No call was made, and time ran out.

“We made our own mistakes,” Rivers conceded. “We turned the ball over. We fouled the 3-point shooter. We did a lot of stuff to lose the game ourselves.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks stuck to his same tune Wednesday when asked about the controversial finish.

“I thought the replays were inconclusive and they made the right call,” Brooks said. “I thought it was the right call. There’s so many basketball calls in every game, you can break down every play. Good screen, bad screen. Push, not push. Carry the ball, not carry the ball. It’s just part of the game. You play through. You play the game every play and you move to then next play.

“I thought our guys did a great job of putting ourselves in position to win that game. Obviously the odds were stacked against us, but we never put our heads down, and we made big plays. I like the fact that we did that after the game before. We had a lot of opportunities to win that game and did not do that. Give them credit. They made all the big plays in Game 4 and we didn’t play well down the stretch. Next game was the other way.”

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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