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NBA refs make historically bad call, cost Blazers game, apologize later

Terry Stotts
Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts was not pleased after loss. Pic credit: ESPN

NBA refs are in the hot seat again after an atrocious non-call in a game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz on Friday night.

With the Blazers down by two points, point guard Damian Lillard drove to the basket and put the ball off the glass in an effort to make a layup as he was hit by a Jazz defender.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert then knocked the ball aside and the officials let it all go. No foul, no goaltending, and no tie game for the Blazers.

It was immediately obvious that Lillard and the Blazers were extremely upset as they started yelling at the officials and that continued after the game. Due to it being a road game, it also meant that Blazers fans inundated social media with their frustrations.

NBA refs miss goaltending call

This wasn’t one of those plays where it was debatable or something that could have gone either way. It was a goaltend and it simply wasn’t called.

NBA analyst Adrian Wojnarowski, who typically weighs in on news and rumors, stepped outside of that role to post his disdain for what had just happened. That post is shared below:

The goaltended layup

Below is a video of the layup where Gobert was guilty of goaltending:

After the game, the refs said that it “wasn’t even close” to being a goaltending call. It really set off the Blazers players, coaches, and announcers. Another ref said that the goaltend “wasn’t as obvious as you thought it was.” Those quotes came from Blazers guard CJ McCollum, who spoke with NBC Sports Northwest after the game.

But wait… there’s more

You would think that this would be the end of it in regard to the ref response, but that wasn’t it. When the Blazers’ pool reporter went and spoke with the refs after they left the floor, even more drama was added to the situation.

The question and answer in the twitter post below is from that reporter:

So, the referees changed their story again after seeing the play. Now, the official stance from the NBA refs is that they “missed the play” and that “a goaltending violation should have been called.”

This is little solace for the Blazers, as the team lost a game that could have really helped in the Western Conference standings.

It’s likely not the end of the situation, either, as the Blazers could challenge this game and several players might face fines for talking ill of the refs after the game.

Damian Lillard and Blazers coach Terry Stotts shared their thoughts in the video below:

More NBA news

There has been a lot of player movement this week in the NBA. That included a huge four-team trade that sent Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks. The Los Angeles Clippers also pulled off a trade to keep a player away from the Los Angeles Lakers at the NBA trade deadline.

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