Blazers star Damian Lillard pissed at refs over last-second call given to Devin Booker
The Portland Trail Blazers were seconds away from pulling out a massive win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night. Unfortunately for the Blazers, Norman Powell was called for a touch foul on a Devin Booker game-winning shot attempt, giving Booker the two game-winning freebies and a 118-117 Suns victory.
It was a somewhat controversial call that Blazers head coach Terry Stotts challenged. The refs upheld the foul upon review, though, with a closer look showing some slight contact between Powell and Booker:
Norman Powell hits Booker’s shooting bicep. pic.twitter.com/BgOsSFHGQP
— Justin W. (@LAClippersFilm) May 14, 2021
It was technically probably the right call, but a tough one to swallow for Portland.
Blazers star Damian Lillard was clearly not happy about it after the game:
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) May 14, 2021
Lillard put forth a monster 41-point effort, including 24 in the fourth quarter. He did take eight free throws, making seven of them, but clearly he thought he should have taken even more. And, obviously, he didn’t agree with the final call that helped give Booker and the Suns the win.
It was a brutal loss for the Blazers, who were so close to locking up a spot in the playoffs rather than the play-in tournament. The sixth-seeded Blazers are now still in danger of falling back to the No. 7 seed and the play-in round. Portland needs to either beat the Denver Nuggets in the final regular season game or see the Los Angeles Lakers lose one of their final two games to the Indiana Pacers or New Orleans Pelicans.
If the Blazers wind up in that 7-8 play-in game, they could have to face Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies will do battle this weekend to determine who gets the No. 8 spot.
There’s still so much to be decided in these next couple of days all across the NBA. Damian Lillard is hoping the refs don’t play too much of a factor after what happened on Thursday.