Officials admit to missed call on final play of Clippers win over 76ers


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Officials said they missed a foul call in the closing seconds of the Los Angeles Clippers’ 108-107 win over Philadelphia on Wednesday night, denying the 76ers a possible victory in their fight for better playoff positioning.

Referee Kevin Scott said in a pool report sent to reporters by the NBA an hour after the game that the Clippers’ Paul George did make contact with Kelly Oubre Jr. — who had the ball and was driving — before time had expired on the final play of the contest.

“In real time the crew interpreted that play as the defender jumping vertically,” Scott said. “However, in post-game video review we did observe some slight drift to his left by the defender George, and a foul should have been ruled.”

The foul call would have sent Oubre to the line with a chance to win the game with 0.2 seconds remaining.

After the horn sounded, both Oubre and Sixers coach Nick Nurse swarmed onto the floor to challenge Scott and fellow officials JB DeRosa and Brandon Adair.

“I looked it on our computer screen a couple times (and) I thought there was certainly contact,” Nurse said. “Certainly as much as the last two or three that got called and-1s at the other end. And that’s all. I just thought it was enough contact to call. But that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Oubre felt there was a general imbalance of calls.

“There was absolute contact, but they were calling those calls for those guys,” he said. “They were getting and-1s and they were changing the game in that aspect. And then we get to our side and they didn’t see any contact.”

He also apologized for confronting the officials.

“In the heat of the moment in an intense basketball game of course and we’re not perfect. The refs are not perfect,” he said. “I want to apologize for losing my cool, because that’s something I work on each and every day and trying to represent God in the best way that I can. And that wasn’t it.”

The 76ers are currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and fighting for better playoff positioning but have struggled without last season’s MVP Joel Embiid.

Embiid, who has averaged 35.3 points and 11.5 rebounds this season, has not played since suffering a meniscus injury on Jan. 30 at Golden State that required surgery on Feb. 6. The Sixers are 10-17 since Embiid’s injury. The team is 13-26 overall this season without him and 26-8 with him.

Embiid has started on-court work, and Nurse said before Wednesday’s game that the team hopes to have him back before the postseason.

“I think there’s a very good likelihood that he will return before the playoffs,” Nurse said.



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