NBA admits blunder at end of Lakers-Magic game
The end of the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic has been the topic of a lot of conversations lately. Due to an issue with the game clock, it has turned out to be a controversial one, which ended in bizarre fashion as the referees decided to throw a jumpball with only 0.6 seconds left.
Magic head coach Frank Vogel was visibly upset during that time, and the entire team questioned their decision. A day after the matchup, the NBA admitted that their referees made a mistake, which they included in their Last 2 Minute Report of the game, via Bill Oram of the OC Register:
The league’s “Last Two Minute Report” said that Orlando “should have retained possession on the sideline at the nearest spot” because “the ball was still in the air when the clock expired.” The NBA automatically reviews all calls made in the final two minutes of a game that is within three points at any point during that time.
With the Lakers leading by a single point and 0.6 seconds left, Vogel designed a play where the inbounder lobs the pass near the basket for any Magic player to tip it in. That was exactly how the play started, but the clock already ran out, without Brook Lopez even touching the ball. The referees then discussed the situation, before coming up with the decision that a jumpball should be done at center court.
The Lakers ultimately won the game, 108-107, in what was a highly competitive matchup. Like in other cases where the NBA admitted missed or inaccurate calls in their L2M Reports, the result is not expected to be overturned. For what it’s worth though, Vogel and company may feel a sense of vindication, knowing that what they were pointing out was correct.