Source: Despite 42 points from Damian Lillard, the shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers fell 117-114 to the Utah Jazz on Friday night in Salt Lake City after a missed goaltending call in the closing seconds of the game that Blazers coach Terry Stotts called “inexcusable.”
With the Blazers down 116-114, Lillard had his driving layup attempt blocked by Utah’s Rudy Gobert with 13.5 seconds left, but the block came after the ball hit the backboard, meaning it should have been ruled goaltending. The officials did not make that call, however, and the play was not reviewable because it was not called as a goaltend on the court.
The Blazers (24-29) had one more chance after Joe Ingles missed one of two free throws, but Caleb Swanigan’s corner three-pointer rattled out at the buzzer and the Jazz (33-18) held on for the victory to snap their five-game losing skid.
CJ McCollum had 27 points for the Blazers, who were down to just seven available players after Anfernee Simons took a hard fall and suffered a concussion late in the first quarter and Trevor Ariza was ejected for arguing with an official early in the second quarter.
This could have been fixed on the court. If we can clearly see it’s a goaltend on TV, without the replay. I know 1 out 3 officials were in position to see the play. We all know NBA officials swallow the whistle on any play in the last few seconds of a close game. This one could cost a Portland a playoff berth. Portland need every win they can get. Every game they play counts at this point. Teams should have some more control in the last two minutes of the game. Teams should have one challenge that they can utilize in the last two minutes of the game.