The refs messed up big time in the last night’s game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz. With 13 seconds in the ball game, with the Blazers down by two points, Lillard drove to the basket for a layup, however instead of calling goaltending by Rudy Gobert, they called a clean block, and the Blazers eventually lost the game by three points. Lillard finished the game with 42 points, six assists, and six rebounds, but he was furious at the refs after the game, saying they cost the Blazers the game.
“It’s an easy call! Three referees out there, and they don’t call that? I don’t want to see any report about we should have called it. They cost us the game, and we are in the playoff race. It’s an easy call.”
Rudy Gobert, who blocked Lillard’s attempt, even admitted the refs missed an easy goaltending call. After reviewing the play after the game, it was clear to everyone that basket should have counted for the Blazers.
“I was trying to make a play. After watching the replay, I realized it was a goaltend.”
After the game, the referees made an announcement where they also said it was an unfortunate mistake from their end and how they should have made the call. Lillard and the Blazers don’t have a lot of benefits from that, but at least they promptly reacted to their mistake.
“We’ve since looked at it, via postgame, video review, and unfortunately saw that we missed the play, and a goaltending violation should’ve been called.”
Their explanation didn’t sit well with CJ McCollum, who was furious about the missed call on Lillard. He said this shouldn’t happen simply because of the fact they are competing for a playoff spot, and every game now is of extreme importance to them. He even mentioned that the refs should receive a fine because of their mistake.
“It cost us a game. We’re competing for a playoff spot. The explanation I got pissed me off… makes me think you’re not capable of doing the job the way you’re supposed to. Which means you should be reprimanded, and you should be fined accordingly.”
It will be interesting to see how the league will react and whether it will fine the refs. The damage is evident, and the Blazes have all the right to be mad at the poor call that cost them the game. There is already a notion going around the league that the refs are untouchable, and in this case, they messed up royally. That means some fine is expected and should be a warning to other refs, so these types of situations don’t happen again.