HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — All Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban asks for when it comes to NBA officiating is transparency. Well, he got it on Wednesday.
The league released a statement admitting that refs blew a crucial call in the final seconds of the Mavs’ 106-104 loss at Portland. Dallas guard O.J. Mayo was called for a charging foul that gave the ball back to the Trail Blazers with 1.5 seconds left. After a timeout, Portland inbounded the ball in the frontcourt and LaMarcus Aldridge made a game-winning, turnaround jumper.
Instead, the league said, Mayo should have been awarded two free throws with the game tied at 104-104.
“After review at the league office, the video replay confirmed the play should have been ruled a blocking foul as Portland’s Ronnie Price did not get his body directly in Mayo’s path prior to him starting his upward shooting motion,” the statement read. “Mayo should have been granted two free throws.”
The play in question started with 4.5 seconds left in the game. Mayo caught the inbounds pass along the baseline and made a quick move to the basket. As he leaped to the basket, Price slid across the lane, just outside the restricted area and the players collided.
“You really can’t [say] too much without getting a big fine,” Mayo told reporters after the team practiced in San Francisco on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday night’s game at Golden State. “Can we play that 3.3 [seconds] over again?”
It was a critical loss for the Mavs, who started a four-game road trip at Portland as they desperately try to climb the Western Conference standings and get back in playoff contention. Dallas, which dropped to 19-26, led the Blazers by 21 points early in the third quarter before Portland began to chip away.
Dallas committed eight of its 16 turnovers in the fourth quarter and Mayo committed three in the period, including the offensive charge.
The league also acknowledged a blown call in Denver’s close win Sunday against Indiana, saying that video replay showed Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala reached in and fouled the Pacers’ Paul George with 2.2 seconds left in the game and the score tied. However, Iguodala was credited with a steal.