----- Damian Lillard scores 42 points, but it's not enough as the Utah Jazz edge the Portland Trail Blazers 117-114 Friday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena Friday night in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Once again, the NBA Officials have butchered the ending to another game.
Damian Lillard drove to the basket for a layup that would have tied the game with 10.4 seconds to play, but the ball was tipped away after it hit the glass by Rudy Gobert.
Goaltending without question.
As a result, the Jazz dropped the Blazers 117-114 dropping the Blazers (24-29) to 2.5 games back of Memphis for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West.
It was clear to all of the players and people in the arena and a National television audience that their was goaltending on the play except for Josh Tiven, Brian Forte, and JB DeRosa. The three officials calling the game.
“It’s an easy call,” Lillard said. “Three referees out there and they didn’t call it.. They cost us a game on an easy call. It’s a loss on our record and we’re in a playoff race. And you want us to walk off and say nothing?”
Lillard grinded all night playing nearly 44 minutes finishing with a game-high 42 points on 16-of-30 shooting including 8-of-14 from three-point range.
Portland was playing short-handed on the night. Hassan Whiteside missed the game with a leg contusion, Anfernee Simons left the game in the second quarter with a concussion, and Trevor Ariza was ejected in the second quarter after receiving a double-technical.
“I was really proud of our guys,” Coach Terry Stotts said. “Obviously, we were shorthanded. It’s just a shame it was decided by an inexcusable missed call. They could have called it goaltending and reviewed it. They swallowed their whistles on a play that was obvious. I don’t complain about officiating… A play like that is inexcusable.”
It wasn't just a missed call that turned the night sour, the officiating crew butchered the entire game. Missed calls throughout the night including a no-call when Simons was undercut by Royce O'Neale which sent him to the locker room with a concussion. It was a scary play. In fact, it could have been a flagrant foul.
The game got out-of-hand because the officials had no control on the action.
Hopefully the crew will be reprimanded for their pathetic performance. They need to be held accountable just like the players and coaches are.
Up Next- The Trail Blazers return to Portland to host the Miami Heat Sunday evening at Moda Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 6:00 PM.
Chad's Take- Josh Tiven, Brian Forte, and JB DeRosa should be ashamed for blowing the game on a missed call. The NBA needs to fix their replay system. What good is the system if you can't replay a game-changing no-call?