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NBA says refs missed foul call on final play of Mavericks’ win over Pelicans

Jan 12, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

The Mavericks hung on for a 110-107 win over the Pelicans on Saturday, and Monta Ellis hacked the heck out of Austin Rivers on the game’s final play to ensure that would be the case.

No foul was called by the officials at the time, however, and a day later, the league issued a statement acknowledging that the call was missed.

“After reviewing postgame video, we have determined a foul should have been called on Dallas’ Monta Ellis for illegal contact on the arms of New Orleans’ Austin Rivers while Rivers was attempting a three-point field goal,” Rod Thorn, NBA President, Basketball Operations said in the official release. “Rivers should have been awarded three free throws with 0.6 left on the clock.”

My two-word reaction: You think?

Look, we completely understand that the referees would rather let the games be decided by the players rather than the whistles, and for that reason, they are reluctant to make calls on last-second plays on the trailing team’s possession that occur so far from the basket.

But sometimes, the players give the officials no choice, and this should have been one of those occurrences.

This is the second time this season the Mavericks have benefited by a late non-call that the league later admitted was a mistake. Shawn Marion committed a foul on Kevin Love that went unchecked, preserving a victory in similar fashion.

  1. believeland1954 - Jan 12, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    And this surprises?

  2. MLBlogsbig3bosox - Jan 12, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Referees blow so many calls on last second shots that I’m starting to think that Carlisle added fouling to his late-game plays.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 12, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      the NFL Commissioner sent a letter to the refs, call the games the same as the regular season……..
      refs should call the foul they see and stop and stop ” the you can’t get that call on the road”


  3. saint1997 - Jan 12, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Apparently it’s uncool for refs to call anything in the last 10 seconds of the game. Melo fouled by Harden, George fouled by James, Marion on Love and Ellis on Rivers to name a few. Seems like this is happening a lot more than it did last year

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 12, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      I saw Shumpert make a clean block on a OKC player, all ball as they were in the air, the ref- looking at the players back from mid court called a foul, the ref under the basket looking up at the play didn’t blow his whistle because there was no foul. Shumpert goes to the bench with his second foul of the first qtr, Knicks get blown out Merry X-mas 30 million viewers

      Denver -14

  4. davidly - Jan 12, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Look, we completely understand that the referees would rather let the games be decided by the players rather than the whistles…

    If that were true, they wouldn’t call those phantom-fouls any basketball fan could tell you they make. So that can’t be a (de)motivation. As long as one–ie., say, a refs brother-in-law–can make bootyloads of moomoo wagering on any game, any day of the week, this is gonna happen.

    Now, the NBA thinks that by saying when “mistakes were made” that they care, but nothing changes.

  5. dinofrank60 - Jan 12, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    And the way this gets hushed is that if players, media or even fans complain, we get the ” no one call decides a game… don’t put yourself in a position where a call decides it…human error is part of the game, deal with it…” type of malarkey. Anything to deflect the results of the incompetence of some referees.

    You’re going to try to get away with that with basketball fans? Honestly???

  6. jamesk2465 - Jan 12, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    This is getting ridiculous. Refs needs to start getting fined for missed calls like this. Esp since if the Players come out and criticize them they’ll get fined its only right

  7. brugis23 - Jan 12, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    3 challenges

  8. mrlaloosh - Jan 12, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Cuban passing the envelopes.

  9. johngalt1783 - Jan 12, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Initally Rivers pushed off with his off hand clearing space. Ellis then closed on Rivers and Rivers jumped into him attempting to get a last second call which he did not. When Rivers becomes a superstar he will get the jump in call. Until then the NBA was just placating the unruly masses with its meaningless comment on the play.

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      Jump in? Wow. Mark Cuban doesn’t have Mavs-colored glasses as thick as yours.

  10. borisalessandri - Jan 12, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    Is it too late to send footage of Ray Allen fouling Manu Ginobili in GM 6 of the NBA Finals. Not that it would change the outcome of the series

  11. mungman69 - Jan 12, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Denver is up 24-14.

  12. slowclyde86 - Jan 13, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    I eagerly await Mark Cuban’s whiny criticism of this horribly officiated non-call. Wait—bad calls are OK only when they help my team? Got it.

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