CHICAGO — The NBA’s Last Two Minute report from the Celtics’ 98-97 loss to the Bucks on Thursday showed several notable officiating errors on both sides.
With Milwaukee holding its one-point lead with 3.7 seconds left, there was a jump ball at the Bucks’ end of the court with just 0.2 seconds remaining on the shot clock.
Giannis Antetokoumpo tipped the ball to Brook Lopez, who then tipped a shot off the rim that was gathered by Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon. But the officials ruled at the time that Lopez had caught the ball rather than tipped it. Since at least 0.3 seconds are required to complete a catch-and-shoot, it resulted in a shot-clock violation.
But the Last Two Minute report, which was released Friday, said that Lopez had just tipped the ball, and that it should not have been called a shot-clock violation.
The call gave Boston possession with 3.5 seconds left. On the ensuing sideline inbounds pass, Marcus Smart was looking for Marcus Morris, who was cutting to the basket after Kyrie Irving set a screen for him.
The NBA’s report said that Irving should have been called for an offensive foul for setting an illegal screen on Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton. Then, the report said, Middleton should have been called for holding Morris, who ultimately slipped and was no longer a factor in the play.
“Definitely thought I was held on the cut,” Morris said Friday, before the report was released. “For the ref to be just standing right there, I just thought there was a lot of contact. Especially the way the game was being called I felt like I should have got that call.”
After Morris slipped, Smart’s inbounds pass went to Irving at the top of the key. The point guard then drove toward the hoop and hoisted a left-handed floater that caromed off the back of the rim, giving the Bucks the win. But the report stated that Irving was fouled by both Antetokoumpo and guard Eric Bledsoe.
When Irving was asked after Thursday’s game whether he thought he had been fouled, he declined to answer the question.
“I love my money,” he quipped, referring to fines that come from criticizing officiating.
The report also said that enhanced video reviews showed that Antetokounmpo should have been called for two traveling violations.