A win was possibly stolen from the Trail Blazers.
In the final seconds of the Trail Blazers-Clippers game, CJ McCollum was called for a foul by crew chief Scott Foster.
It was weak, at best.
On the play, which occurred with 4.8 seconds left in the game and the Blazers winning by a single point, Paul George drove to the hoop with McCollum defending. George bumped McCollum on the way by and threw a pass that was deflected by Nassir Little out of bounds. Here’s a look at the play below.
A clean play, right? Not in the eyes of Foster. The whistle had been blown on the bump, so George got two free throws. He made both and gave the Clippers a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
According to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report which reviews fouls called in the final two minutes of closely-contested games, CJ McCollum was whistled for a foul that didn’t occur.
The bump between McCollum and George was just “marginal contact” and shouldn’t have been called. So, it should have been Clippers ball with 4.8 seconds left on the clock and LA inbounding where Little had deflected the pass out of play.
Knowing that the officials were wrong may bring momentary solace to Blazers fans, but at the end of the day, the incorrect call did, in part, cost them a potential win; and a much-needed one, at that.
Maybe the Clippers would score the game-winning basket without the foul call anyway. And maybe the Blazers fans wouldn’t be as angry if the team had hit one of the two shots they had to go back ahead at the end.
Still, there’s no doubt that Foster’s call made a massive impact on the end of this one. It’s just a shame to see a well-played, hard-fought game like that come down to a ticky-tack foul call that didn’t end up being a correct one.