Boston Celtics

NBA admits it blew crucial call in Kings' 103-102 loss vs. Celtics

NBA admits it blew crucial call in Kings' 103-102 loss vs. Celtics

It's getting tougher and tougher to blame Kings fans if they believe there's an NBA conspiracy against their favorite team.

No, this isn't about the 2002 Western Conference finals and the fix that most definitely was in.

Unfortunately for Sacramento, the officiating hasn't seemed to go their way in the current season, either. The Kings have lost two games by a single possession so far, and both outcomes might have been different if the officials hadn't blown a couple specific calls.

The day after the Kings lost 99-97 to the Lakers on Nov. 15, the NBA's Last Two-Minute report revealed that Los Angeles' LeBron James should have been called for an offensive foul for crashing into Harrison Barnes with 5.5 seconds remaining. Of course, in the game itself, the officials got it backward and called Barnes for a blocking foul. James made both of his resulting free throws, which proved to be the decisive points in the game.

Oh, but there's more.

In Sacramento's 103-102 loss to the Celtics on Monday, the Kings were on the wrong side of a wrong call once again.

Tuesday's Last Two-Minute Report stated that Boston's Marcus Smart should have been called for a traveling violation with 33 seconds remaining in the game. Instead, the refs missed it, and Smart banked in what would be the decisive basket.

Both instances came on the road for the Kings, so perhaps that explains the whistles, or lack thereof. Of course, the fact that the Lakers and Celtics -- the NBA's two darling franchises -- were the direct beneficiaries of the missed calls isn't going to quiet any conspiracy theories.

[RELATED: Buddy's career night not enough to save Kings from loss]

Ultimately, there's nothing the Kings can do. They've done a tremendous job to get back into the thick of the Western Conference after losing their first five games and now sit at 7-9 on the season. But if you ask them, that record should be reversed.

Kings troll Boston Globe for mistakenly tweeting Celtics beat Sacramento

Kings troll Boston Globe for mistakenly tweeting Celtics beat Sacramento

Doug Christie and Grant Napear were on the edge of their seats. The Boston Globe was ready to press send. 

Football is a game of inches, and as the Celtics learned Sunday, basketball is a game of bounces. 

Marcus Smart's game-winning floater attempt hit the rim, rolled around and dropped off to give the Kings a wild 100-99 win at Golden 1 Center, snapping Boston's 10-game win streak.

We've all wished Twitter had an edit button, and the Globe certainly could have used one as the ball rattled off the rim. The Kings, of course, took notice. 

The Globe quickly corrected themselves, but this is the internet. Once you've pressed send, there's no going back. 

Really, though, this ending was pure chaos for a Kings win. 

A game of bounces, folks.

Kings blessed by 'basketball gods' in dramatic win against Celtics

Kings blessed by 'basketball gods' in dramatic win against Celtics

SACRAMENTO -- Front rim, backboard, front rim, front rim, front rim ... out.

An entire arena filled with fans went silent for what seemed to be 10 seconds as Marcus Smart’s runner in the lane sat on the front rim. If it rolled in, the collective sigh from almost 17,000 fans would have been heard all the way to Boston.

But that’s not what happened.

“Please roll out, please roll out, please roll out,” Richaun Holmes said. “And it finally did. But it seemed like forever.”

The Sacramento Kings stunned the Celtics Sunday afternoon, snapping Boston's 10-game win streak with a 100-99 victory. The win moved the Kings within two games of .500 on the season, but it wasn’t without drama.

“Finally the basketball gods, they were on our side,” Nemanja Bjelica said. “We think we deserve that the way we are breaking out and how much time we spend together. Winning is fun.”

The victory was a big one for the Kings who were coming off a controversial two-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday evening. It took a team effort from the Kings to pick up their fifth victory of the season.

Buddy Hield was a flamethrower from the perimeter, finishing with a season-high 35 points. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and added 10 assists. Bjelica finished with a double-double and when the game was on the line, Holmes came up huge.

A reserve to begin the season, Holmes is settling into the starting line-up for head coach Luke Walton. He scored a modest nine points, but two of those came in the final moments of the game and gave the Kings the lead.

With under 15 seconds remaining and the Celtics up one, Smart grabbed a rebound in the key off of a Kemba Walker miss. Smart went back up with it, but Holmes swiped at the shot attempt and then came away with the miss.

In the ensuing chaos, Smart wrapped up the Kings’ center trying to get a jump ball call. After review, Smart was assessed a foul and the Celtics were already in the penalty.

“Marcus Smart came in and got a ridiculous offensive rebound - he came flying in,” Holmes said. “I just tried to find the ball and make a play on it. Luckily we were able to get the rebound, able to get the foul, able to knock down two free throws.”

Holmes, a career 70.7 percent shooter from the free-throw line, stepped to the stripe with 13.3 seconds remaining and hit the pair that gave the Kings the 100-99.

Holmes played a crucial role in the final play as well. With 13.3 seconds remaining and trailing by one, Walker brought the ball up. He tried to shake Cory Joseph, but the Kings’ starting point guard forced him to give the ball up to Smart.

Smart burst down the lane, but Holmes flew in trying to block his shot and made the play more difficult.

“That’s my job, to try to protect the rim as much as possible,” Holmes said. “That ball hung on the rim for I don’t know how long. Luckily it bounced out and we were able to get the win.”

It was a tremendous effort from the 26-year-old big. His numbers might not jump off the page, but in the final moments, he protected the rim twice, grabbed the deciding rebound and iced the freebies from the line.

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This was the first time at the NBA level that Holmes has been credited with the game-winning points that put his team ahead. The last time he had experienced anything like it was during his last year at Bowling Green when he hit a game-winning lay-up against Detroit Mercy.

After a brutal 0-5 start to the season, the Kings are now 5-2 over their last seven games. They’ll face the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, who are a surprising 7-4 on the season. The Suns play the Celtics on Monday night before facing the Kings on the second night of a back-to-back.