The Portland Trail Blazers’ 118-113 overtime loss against the Utah Jazz on Saturday night in Salt Lake City came with an extra serving of controversy. Much to the distress of Portland fans on social media, crucial late whistles, or a lack thereof, seemed to go against the Trail Blazers as their double-digit comeback fell just short.
However, according to the NBA Officiating Last Two Minute Report, the Trail Blazers weren’t robbed by any late calls in crunch time. Instead, the NBA said Portland was helped by missed calls from the officiating crew.
The report said all but two calls were incorrect: at the 1:32 mark, the refs should’ve called a shooting foul on Portland guard Malcolm Brogdon while he was guarding Utah guard Keyonte George; and at the 1:16 mark, the refs should’ve whistled a shooting foul on Portland forward Toumani Camara while he was also guarding George.
Perhaps, the most crucial officiating moment of the game came with 16 seconds remaining in OT with Portland trailing 115-113. Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe leaped into the lane and was met at the basket by two Jazz defenders. Sharpe yelled at the contact and his shot missed badly off the backboard, but the play continued and Utah gathered the rebound. According to the L2M report, Utah played legal defense.
“[Simone] Fontecchio (UTA) makes clean contact to the ball as he defends Sharpe’s (POR) driving shot attempt,” the report said. “Additionally, [Omer] Yurtseven (UTA) maintains verticality as he defends the driving shot attempt.”
After that Sharpe miss, free throws iced the game for Utah.