The NBA, nearly 20 hours too late, admitted that Kendrick Perkins tip-in shot should have been called goaltending.
The play occurred with 1 minutes and 5 seconds left in the contest and Perkins tipped in a Russell Westbrook miss to give the Thunder a 102-101 advantage and spark a 7-2 run for Oklahoma City to close the game.
It’s not clear which official should have made the call, Bill Kennedy was boxed out under the basket and it isn’t clear what the two outside officials (Zach Zarba and Steve Javie) were watching to miss the call or if they were in position to make the call.
Which brings up the point that the NBA really needs to install instant replay, at least for the final two minutes of the game. NBA officials are human and they do make mistakes and the League needs to find ways to limit the mistakes.
Nuggets coach George Karl had some interesting things to say about the goaltending call. He took blame for not calling a timeout after the play and the Nuggets falling apart down the stretch, but the funny part was he did call a timeout with 50 seconds left and Kenyon Martin attempted a 20-foot jumper coming out of the timeout.
Karl also acknowledged that he thought the ball was going to go through the basket before Perkins touched it and that the missed call just means that Denver has to come back on Wednesday with more fire and get the job done in Oklahoma City.