NBA Admits Refs Blew Final Call In Wolves/Lakers Game
The Timberwolves weren’t so fortunate last night as they lost at home to the Lakers 120-117. Minnesota was down 12 points at the start of the fourth quarter, but in the final five minutes they employed a hack-a-Dwight strategy that allowed them to get back in the game due to the poor foul shooting of Lakers center Dwight Howard.
On the controversial final play, wolves guard Ricky Rubio appeared to get fouled shooting a potentially game-tying three pointer at the buzzer. Rubio should have had three free throws and a chance to tie the game, but instead the game was over.
The league has acknowledged that the final play was called incorrectly.
A person with knowledge of the situation told 1500espn that the NBA has informed the Wolves that the referee crew erred in not calling a foul on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on the final shot.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made, said the league contacted the team on Thursday to inform them they reviewed the play.
The league said Bryant should have been called for a foul for hitting Wolves guard Ricky Rubio on the right wrist just as he released a potential game-tying 3-point shot. No foul was called, and the Lakers held on for a 120-117 victory.
Bryant scoffed after the game when asked about and said “you don’t call that.” The Lakers are currently one game in front of Utah for the final playoff spot in the West.