The Los Angeles Clippers went into Dallas to face a team that is suddenly in the playoff hunt, and despite 33 points from a game time decision Chris Paul, and a miraculous game winner with no time remaining, the Clippers lost the first of their four game road trip.
Chris Paul made 2 big lay ups in the final minute. One to tie the game at 95, and the next to put the Clippers up by 2 with less than 6 seconds to play. Dallas got the ball back, and despite being trapped on the baseline, somehow OJ Mayo managed to get up a left handed layup to tie the game. Matt Barnes stepped out of bounds and quickly heaved the ball the length of the court to Blake Griffin who’s catch and shoot started with 1.6 seconds on the clock read only .6 when he made the game winner.
The basket was called off. It was called off for an offensive foul. Here is the play in question, right after Mayo makes his layup
That is not an offensive foul. I understand that it could have been called. But considering referees normally have an anything-goes policy in the final seconds (at least of the quarter) of the game it was surprising they called it. The refs should have let it play out, and it would have been the single best play of the regular season.
The replay shows that Blake didn’t push Dirk Nowitzki. He had his hands on him, and was holding his ground. Dirk was leaning back against him, not wanting to give up position for the oncoming full court heave from Matt Barnes. But when Griffin takes a step back and jumps back for the ball he pulls the chair out from under Dirk leaning against him. Dirk lost his balance as he groped back for Griffin, winning an offensive foul call just as Griffin catches the shot while falling to the floor and miraculously banks it home. But the refs disallowed it immediately.
If the Clippers end up on the wrong side of the 3-5 seeds in the Western Conference playoffs it won’t be by much. And this game winner that was called back could be the difference.