NBA

Bulls stun Celtics after controversial foul results in winning free throws

The "unwritten rules" of basketball suffered a serious defeat at United Center on Thursday night, when the Chicago Bulls defeated the Boston Celtics 104-103 in controversial fashion. Bulls star Jimmy Butler was awarded two free throws, with less than a second remaining, after his elbow was grazed by Marcus Smart during his buzzer-beating attempt.

Smart fouls Jimmy Butler on the final shot & Butler makes both free throws to give @chicagobulls the 104-103 lead w/ 0.9 seconds 👀 pic.twitter.com/Aa0WORC7Dh

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2017

Let's take a closer look:

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Did Marcus Smart catch a piece of that elbow?🔬 pic.twitter.com/QRQzxVbD42

— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 17, 2017

If you pause the replay at the right second, it does appear that Smart did just get a piece of the elbow:

...and that technically constitutes a foul under the rules of basketball, in which Butler stepped to the line and made both free throws:

.@JimmyButler's free throws to seal the victory! pic.twitter.com/JFJmccfXST

— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 17, 2017

but, that is a tough call to make with the game on the line.

Let 'em play or make the call? Basketball's never-ending argument continues.