The Dallas Mavericks are filing an official protest with the NBA saying the referees made a mistake that essentially resulted in a free basket for the Golden State Warriors: The Mavs lost, 127-125.
After a third-quarter timeout, the Mavericks thought they had possession of the ball, so all five players on the court went to one side of the court. However, it was actually the Golden State ball.
With the two teams on opposite ends of the court, the referee gave the ball to the Warriors’ Jordan Poole, who went under his own basket with no Maverick around him.
Poole sent a pass to Kevon Looney, who dunked it smoothly.
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According to Mavs owner Mark Cuban, the umpires reversed the initial decision without notifying his team.
«For those who are wondering about the play with 1:54 remaining to the end of the 3, I explain what happened», Cuban he tweeted after the game. «The umpire called the Mavs ball. The announcer announced it. Then there was a timeout. During the timeout, the umpire changed the call and never told us. Then when they saw us lined up like it was our ball, he just called the ball. ball to the warriors. They never said a word to us. They got an easy basketball. It’s crazy that it would matter in a 2 point game. Worst no-call officiating error possibly in NBA history. All they had to do was to tell us and they didn’t do it».
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However, the referee says otherwise.
Before timeout, the Warriors missed a three-pointer, and when the ball went out of bounds, the referee ruled that it was still a Warriors ball.
Shortly after, the same referee pointed to the other side of the court.
However, that point was to signal a Dallas timeout, not a Dallas fumble.
«Initially on the field, the original signal was in fact the Golden State ball, as you can see on the video. There is a second signal, but that signal is for a mandatory timeout due to the Mavs.» referee Sean Wright said.
Assuming that’s the case, Dallas just got it wrong.
Luka Doncic shared his discontent towards the end of the game, noting that the refs were being paid.
This is the 35th protest in NBA history, and only eight have been successful, none since 2008.
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The Mavs were able to lead 117-115 with 3:52 to go, but Golden State pulled away late to clinch the road win.
The two teams were separated by a half-game in the playoff race before Wednesday. With the win, the Warriors, for now, are the sixth seed while the Mavs are the ninth seed, necessitating a play-in tournament appearance: the top six automatically make the playoffs.