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NBA Says Referees Made No Errors In Final Two Minutes Of Game 3

Despite a controversial decision on Chris Paul's foul of CJ McCollum, the NBA League Office says all the calls in the final two minutes of Game 3 were correct.

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA released its Last Two Minute Report (L2M) concerning Saturday night's 2016 NBA Playoffs Game 3 in Portland that saw the Trail Blazers close out the Los Angeles Clippers in the waning minutes to bring the series to 2-1 in favor of the Clippers. In the L2M report the league states that all calls, including the non-flagrant call on Chris Paul were called correctly.

The initial call on the floor for Paul's foul was a common foul, not a flagrant foul. The L2M references this call specifically stating:

After communicating with the Replay Center, the ruling on the court of a common foul was upheld.

The league defines a flagrant foul as such.

Unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent.

The League Office will consider the following factors (as well as any other relevant facts and circumstances) in determining whether to classify a foul as Flagrant "1" or Flagrant "2", to reclassify a flagrant foul, or to impose a fine and/or suspension on the player involved:
1. The severity of the contact;
2. Whether or not the player was making a legitimate basketball play (e.g., whether a player is making a legitimate effort to block a shot; note, however, that a foul committed during a block attempt can still be considered flagrant if other criteria are present such as recklessness and hard contact to the head);
3. Whether, on a foul committed with a player's arm or hand, the fouling player wound up and/or followed through after making contact;
4. The potential for injury resulting from contact (e.g., a blow to the head and a foul committed while a player is in a vulnerable position);
5. The severity of any injury suffered by the offended player; and
6. The outcome of the contact (e.g., whether it led to an altercation)

This post season has seen some push back from NBA officials concerning the L2M Report. Particularly the last second shot by Houston Rockets guard James Harden against the Golden State Warriors in Game 3, which ultimately turned into the game winner.

In the L2M the league stated that the play was "INC" or incorrect non-call, and that Harden should have been assessed an offensive foul and the resulting shot should not have counted. Considering that particular play essentially decided the game it made for a contentious stance for the league to take against their officials.

The Twitter account held by @OfficialNBARefs took umbrage with the league's stance and offered a rebuttal, stating they didn't agree with the league's findings and are calling for reform.

The L2M is still a relatively new process in the NBA, officially debuting in February of 2015. Since its inception, this is the first recorded and publicly disclosed time that the league's officials have disagreed with the L2M report.