The NBA announced on Sunday that it missed a goaltending call against Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard in the final seconds of the Rockets' 109-105 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
With just over 20 seconds remaining in the game and the Clippers trailing by two points, 107-105, Griffin threw up a left-handed jump hook over Howard and Marcus Thornton. The shot hit the backboard and fell right back into Griffin's hand. He tried tipping it in, and as it hung on the lip of the rim, Howard smacked it with his right hand before it went out of bounds.
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The call seemed to obviously be goaltending -- even in real time -- but the officials missed it, and instead called a review to see whose possession it was.
In an NBA officiating report released Sunday, the officials said, "Howard (HOU) makes contact with the ball while part of it is still in the cylinder above the basket ring. As per the Rule Book, goaltending is only reviewable when there is a call on the floor. Since there was no call, the play is not reviewable."
Griffin, who along with head coach Doc Rivers and the rest of the team was clearly upset, said he couldn't wait until he got home to watch the tape, and decided to watch it at his locker. From the Los Angeles Times:
The referees could not review the goaltending call because it was not initially called. Video replay cannot be used to turn a non-call into a goaltend (and the same with fouls).
Had the referees made the correct call, the game would've been tied at 107 with around 17 seconds remaining and Houston basketball. With the way James Harden was playing -- 46 points -- the Clippers might have lost anyway, but at least they would've had a chance to get a stop and potentially score or at least force overtime.