In the final minute of the Nuggets v Lakers Game 4, the NBA made the wrong call that led to the Nuggets shooting the game-winner and the league has since admitted to the error.
The Lakers lost the game by two points, thanks to a shot by Western Conference MVP Nikola Jokic as the Nuggets were granted possession with 56.7 seconds remaining after an out of bounds, loose ball scramble.
The game was tied up at 111 apiece with 1:07 left to play and Denver’s Jamal Murray had the ball and Anthony Davis was defending him.
Murray drove from the right but fell while he was dribbling the ball in his left hand. The ball went out of bounds, but not before six players tried to get their hands on it.
It was ruled to go out of bounds by Lakers guard Austin Reaves but the game report says this wasn’t the right call.
“Possession is awarded to Denver,” the report read. “However, the ball touches Murray’s (DEN) left hand last before going out of bounds. Reaves does not make contact with it. Possession should have been awarded to Los Angeles.”
So Jokic got the ball off the pass as it was thrown in and scored layup to give his team a crucial two-point lead.
The Lakers had a couple of chances to get one back and LeBron had the ball with four seconds left in the game after Murray missed a shot.
LeBron attempted to score from under the basket but was blocked by Murray and Aaron Gordon, which was not deemed a foul and the report backed this up.
“Murray (DEN) uses both hands to make clean contact with the ball after James’ (LAL) gather,” the report read. “Gordon is aligning to move alongside James’ (LAL) path and marginal body contact occurs prior to Gordon cleanly blocking the driving shot attempt.”
Of course, the wrong call wasn’t the sole deciding factor of the outcome of the game, but when it’s your season on the line, not getting the right call in the clutch is so tough.
With their season over, the Lakers certainly have much to decide over the summer and LeBron has yet to confirm or deny his retirement after his cryptic postgame comments.