A controversial call at the end of Tuesday’s Oklahoma City Thunder-Los Angeles Clippers game was ruled correctly, according to league president of basketball operations Rod Thorn.
The call — which “robbed” the Clippers, according to head coach Doc Rivers — helped the Thunder as the team overcame a 13-point deficit over the game’s final 4:13 to take a 3-2 lead in the series.
A day after squandering a late 13-point lead against the Oklahoma City Thunder – a collapse that left coach Doc Rivers railing into the officiating during his postgame news conference — the Los Angeles Clippers collectively tried to let go of Game 5 and focus on Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinals series.
And the NBA seemed to do the same, defending the outcome of a play that came with 11.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter Tuesday, when it appeared the ball went out of bounds off Reggie Jackson but the Thunder were awarded possession by the referees after video review.
“With 11.3 seconds left in the game, the basketball went out of bounds on the baseline and the referees ruled the ball belonged to the Thunder,” the league’s president of basketball operations, Rod Thorn, said in a statement Wednesday. “The referees then used instant replay to review the play. In order to reverse the call made on the court, there has to be ‘clear and conclusive’ evidence.
“Since no replay provided such evidence, the play correctly stood as called with the Thunder retaining possession.”
Prior to Thorn issuing the statement, Rivers said he spoke to the league office about the game, but said the content of that conversation was “private.”
As of Wednesday evening, the NBA had still not determined whether Rivers would be fined for publicly criticizing the officiating, according to a league source.
The two teams will play again tonight in Los Angeles. The game is scheduled to tip at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN.