The Dallas Mavericks filed a formal protest with the NBA saying the umpires made a mistake that essentially resulted in a free basket for the Golden State Warriors – the Mavs lost, 127-125.
After a timeout in the third quarter, the Mavericks thought they had the ball, so the five players on the field went to one side of the field. However, it was actually a Golden State ball.
With the two teams at opposite ends of the court, the referee gave the ball to the Warriors’ Jordan Ball, heading to the bottom of his own basket with no Maverick around them.
Paul bounced a pass to Kevon Looney, who dunked it without issue.
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According to Mavs owner Mark Cuban, the referees changed the initial ruling without notifying his team.
“For those of you wondering what the play was with 1:54 to go on the third day, let me explain what happened,” Cobain He tweeted after the game. “The referee called the Mavs ball. The announcer announced it. Then there was a timeout. During the time-out, the official changed the call and never told us. Then when they saw us line up like it was our ball, he gave the ball to the Warriors. He never said a word to us. They got “Easy basketball. It’s crazy that it would matter in a two-point game. Probably the worst no-contact error in NBA history. All they had to do was tell us and they didn’t.”
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However, the referee says otherwise.
Before the timeout, the Warriors missed a three-pointer, and when the ball went out of bounds, the referee ruled it was still a Warriors ball.
Soon after, the same referee pointed towards the other side of the field.
However, this point was to refer to a Dallas timeout, not a Dallas ball.
“First the original signal on the ground was actually the Golden State ball as it can be seen on the video. There is a second signal, but this one is for a mandatory timeout that was due to the Mavs,” Referee Shaun Wright said.
Assuming that was the case, Dallas was simply wrong.
Luka Doncic shared his displeasure towards the end of the match, stating that the referees were being paid.
This is the 35th protest in NBA history, and only eight have been successful, and none since 2008.
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The Mavs managed a 117-115 lead with 3:52 left, but Golden State pulled away late to snatch the win on the road.
The two teams were separated by half a game in the race that went into Wednesday. With the win, the Warriors are, for now, the sixth seed, while the Mavs are the ninth seed, and their appearance in the tournament requires the top six automatically make the playoffs.
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