NBA Playoffs

Refs made multiple errors at the end of Sixers-Knicks Game 2, L2M Report says

The NBA’s Last Two-Minute report detailed several errors down the stretch of the Sixers’ controversial Game 2 loss to the Knicks.

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The NBA’s Last Two-Minute Report released Tuesday identified four incorrectly called plays late in the Sixers’ shocking Round 1, Game 2 defeat to the Knicks.

Here’s a rundown of those errors:

• With a little over one minute remaining, the report says OG Anunoby should’ve been called for a defensive three seconds violation. That no-call ended up working out for the Sixers, since Tyrese Maxey made a 3-pointer on the play.

• After Donte DiVincenzo emerged with a loose ball, Joel Embiid fouled him with the Sixers holding a five-point lead and 34.7 seconds to go. A foul here may very well have been preferable for the Sixers to what transpired; Jalen Brunson made a corner 3 a few seconds later.

• Brunson fouled Maxey as he looked to break free on the ensuing out-of-bounds play. The report says Brunson pulled Maxey’s jersey “away from his body, which affects Maxey's ability to secure the pass.”

• After Maxey couldn’t cleanly catch Lowry’s pass and the ball popped into the air, Josh Hart fouled Maxey. According to the report, Hart “initiates lower body contact that causes Maxey to lose his balance and fall to the floor.” 

Notably, the report does not agree with Sixers head coach Nick Nurse’s assertion that he should’ve been granted a timeout during the wild stretch that culminated with DiVincenzo’s go-ahead 3. 

At the 27.2 second mark, the report simply says, “An attempt to call a timeout by Coach Nurse (PHI) during this play is neither recognized nor granted by the officials.”

And 3.5 seconds later, the explanation given is, “An attempt to call a timeout by Coach Nurse (PHI) during this play is neither recognized nor granted by the officials; the timeout request is simultaneous to Hart making contact with the ball and PHI not having possession.” 

The full controversial sequence is below:

Following the game, Nurse said he was “clearly calling timeout twice.”

“The first thing is they score,” he said. “We take a look at getting it in quick. We don’t get it in quick. I call timeout. The referee looked right at me, ignored me. (The ball) went into Tyrese. I called timeout again. Then the melee started. 

“I guess I’ve got to run out onto the floor or do something to make sure I get his attention. I needed a timeout there to advance it. Would’ve been good, but I didn’t get it.”

Joel Embiid was less diplomatic in his postgame comments.

“That’s just unacceptable, to put us in that situation,” Embiid said. “That’s f------ unacceptable to lose a game like this, especially in the playoffs.”

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