Referees Comment On LeBron James 3-Pointer Being Taken Off Board & Other Controversial Calls In Lakers Loss To Warriors
LeBron James, Lakers, Warriors
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a costly loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, putting them in a tie for ninth and 10th place in the Western Conference with only a handful of games to go.

The loss did not come without some controversy as there were a number of stoppages late in the game. With around two minutes to play, LeBron James drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to bring the Lakers within four. After Anthony Davis went down with an injury, the Lakers were doing there best to chip away at the Warriors’ lead and seemed to finally be gaining some momentum.

From there though, the referees botched back-to-back calls, forcing Lakers head coach Darvin Ham to use challenges, both of which were successful.

During that time, they also went back and looked at the James 3-pointer and determined that his foot was on the out-of-bounds line, taking three points away from the Lakers. The shot clock began malfunctioning from there, causing almost 20 minutes of delays combined with the reviews. The Lakers were never able to get the momentum back and would go on to suffer the loss.

Additionally, earlier in the fourth quarter during a Warriors possession, the shot clock reset when it shouldn’t have. So instead of the Lakers getting a stop by defending well for 24 seconds, the Warriors got extra time and wound up scoring.

In a pool report after the game, Crew Chief David Guthrie explained what happened on those plays and why they were able to go back and review James’ foot being out of bounds but not the shot clock resetting:

The Pool Report interview was conducted by Khobi Price (Southern California News Group) with Crew Chief David Guthrie following tonight’s Warriors at Lakers game.

QUESTION: What did the replay officials see on the LeBron James three that would have turned it to 124-120 that was disallowed? Would the review of the three happened without the Lakers challenging the out of bounds call on the ensuing possession? What rule allows the replay to undo a made field goal and can that be applied to situations other than a reviewed three pointer/two-pointer?

GUTHRIE: James’ left foot is out of bounds as he begins to shoot. Yes, it is reviewable at that time. The rule is Rule 13, Section II(f)(3): Whether the shooter committed a boundary line violation, the replay center official will only look at the position of the player’s feet at the moment they touch the floor immediately prior to the release of the shot. This can be applied during other replay triggers as well.

QUESTION: Early in the fourth quarter the shot clock reset to 24 seconds on the Warriors possession from 11:06 in the fourth quarter to 10:38. What triggered that shot clock reset? Why wasn’t that reviewed and is that reviewable?

GUTHRIE: The shot clock malfunctioned during live play at that time and that is not a reviewable matter.

QUESTION: Is that on the officiating crew in the moment to notice that or once that happens you can’t go back and change it?

GUTHRIE: Yes.

This was obviously an extremely unfortunate sequence of events for the Lakers, which proved costly in a close loss.

While it is nice to see Guthrie taking accountability for missing the call on the shot clock reset, it won’t change the outcome and could have an effect on the Lakers’ playoff hopes. The Lakers had chances to win the game and didn’t play well, but it was clear that after they took three of James’ points off the board along with a long stoppage that all of their momentum was halted.

Lakers-Warriors could get NBA to look over review system

The NBA has a lot of issues with its replay system, and something like this occurring in such a high profile game may cause them to go take a look to try to improve it this offseason.

What can and can’t be reviewed is unclear to a lot of people as there seemingly is no rhyme or reason behind some rules.

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