A blown call in the closing seconds Friday night cost the Portland Trail Blazers a tying bucket against the Utah Jazz and left one of the NBA’s biggest stars livid.
With the Blazers trailing 116-114 late, Damian Lillard drove for a potential game-tying lay-up. Jazz center Rudy Gobert contested at the rim and got a piece of the ball, but only after Lillard’s shot had hit the backboard. Referees missed the obvious goaltending call, and Utah gathered the rebound. After a Portland intentional foul, Bojan Bogdanovic made one of two free throws, Caleb Swanigan missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the Jazz won 117-114.
Replays clearly showed Lillard’s shot hit the backboard before Gobert touched the ball. Even in real time, it appeared clear there should have been a whistle for goaltending.
After the final buzzer sounded, Lillard was irate. He had to be held back by an assistant coach while he yelled expletives at the departing referees. According to social media reports after the game, Lillard’s anger carried over into the postgame locker room.
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