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‘It was a push-off.’ Doc Rivers goes off on the officiating late in 76ers’ Game 4 win

Doc Rivers had a word with referee John Goble in the second quarter of Sunday's game.Tim Nwachukwu/Getty

PHILADELPHIA — Sixers coach Doc Rivers sounded off about the officiating in Sunday’s Game 4 against the Celtics, expressing his displeasure with a late non-call.

“Jayson Tatum’s three, it’s awful that wasn’t called,” Rivers said. “Awful.”

With 38 seconds left in overtime, Tatum appeared to push off Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey to create space behind the arc. Maxey flailed backward on the play but did not fall to the floor, and Tatum knocked down the 3-pointer to give the Celtics a 115-113 lead.

“You thought it was a push-off?” a reporter asked Rivers.

“Did you?” Rivers responded. “Did you think it was a push-off? I’m asking you.”


“It looked like a push-off,” the reporter replied.

“No, no, be committed,” Rivers said, his voice rising. “Did you think it was a push-off? It was a push-off.”

The non-call did not end up mattering, because Sixers guard James Harden hit a game-winning 3-pointer moments later. Philadelphia won, 116-115.

Rivers still felt compelled to criticize the officials.

“The reason it bugged me is because at the end of the game, there are these touch fouls,” Rivers said. “If we’re going to call it that way, then you have to call that. To me, you have to call that play.

“I know it’s a big play, and I’m a big fan of refs not deciding the game, but that could have decided the game.”

Nicole Yang can be reached at her @nicolecyang.