NBA Issues Statement Saying Referees Blew Call That Fouled Out Rockets C Dwight Howard From Game 1 Loss To Blazers

Bob Levey

The game referees incorrectly ruled that Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard committed a foul on Portland Trail Blazers forward/center Joel Freeland during overtime of Portland's 122-120 road win in Game 1 on Sunday.

The NBA announced on Monday that the game referees incorrectly ruled that Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard committed a foul on Portland Trail Blazers forward/center Joel Freeland during overtime of Portland's 122-120 road win in Game 1 on Sunday.

The foul gave Freeland two shots and fouled Howard out of the game. Houston was down 1 with less than 11 seconds remaining when the foul occurred. Had the foul been called on Freeland, Howard would have gone to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game or take the lead.

"After video review by the league office, we have determined that the officials were incorrect in assessing a foul to the Rockets' Dwight Howard with 10.8 seconds remaining in overtime. The foul should have been called on the Blazers' Joel Freeland and Howard should have been awarded two free throws."

Here's video of the foul, which occurred when the two players wrapped up during a rebounding situation.

Freeland split the free throws to give Portland its final two-point victory margin.

The NBA has not announced any further rulings from the game, which included a total of four ejections due to fouls (Howard, Patrick Beverley, LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez) and three technical fouls (Howard, Lopez and Beverley).

Lopez received an elbow to the stomach from Howard -- GIF here -- that preceded Lopez's technical foul and left Howard unpunished, but the NBA has not issued an statement on the sequence.

Portland leads the series 1-0. Game 2 is set for Wednesday in Houston.

This is the second time in two days that the NBA has admitted an error by its officials. The league previously acknowledged an officiating error in the closing minutes of the Golden State Warriors' Game 1 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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