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Kings call foul: Last 2 Minute Report says (again) blown call costs Kings at end of game

Natalie joins Michael Holley and Vincent Goodwill to discuss Steph Curry's incredible performance against the Kings and why it is not a sustainable winning formula for the Warriors long-term.

The Sacramento Kings are pissed off.

“I just want, at the end of the game, somebody to step up and make the right call. A guy gets hit on the arm shooting a 3, it’s a foul. A guy takes six steps or four steps, it’s a travel. We just want an opportunity to win in overtime.”

Mike Brown will get fined for that and he doesn’t care. The Kings’ last two losses — to the Heat last Wednesday and the Warriors on Monday — were followed up by the NBA saying the next day in its Last Two Minute Report that the officials had blown a critical call in the final seconds of the game.

On Wednesday night, down three as time expired, the Kings’ Kevin Huerter had a shot to tie the game and Klay Thompson closed out tightly. Huerter and his teammates felt he was fouled on the play and pleaded for a call or review, but they got neither (the Kings had used their challenge successfully already).

The NBA’s Last Two Minute Report said Huerter was fouled:

“Thompson (GSW) makes contact with Huerter’s (SAC) arm, which affects his jump shot attempt.”

The report also found Stephen Curry should have been called for a travel with :16.6 seconds left in the game. That play ended with Malik Monk fouling Curry.

Two games before, the Heat beat the Kings’ game-winner from Tyler Herro with :05 seconds left.

Brown called for a travel at the time but got no love from the officials. The next day, that Last Two Minute Report found Herro did travel:

“Herro (MIA) ends his dribble by gathering in the air and landing on both feet (although his left lands slightly before his right). When he moves his right foot, he establishes his left foot as his pivot foot, which he then lifts and replaces to the floor before taking his jump shot.”

With the NBA allowing only one challenge per coach (whether or not the challenge is successful), there needs to be a better method for reviewing end-of-game plays. While the NBA is understandably concerned about the flow of the game being disrupted by officials reviewing every call, standing around at mid-court and sucking the natural drama out of the event, they also need to get things right. There needs to be a system that can take a better look at end-of-game moments, something closer to (but working better than) the VAR system in the English Premier League, where the lead official doesn’t need always need to run to the screen but is notified by the league office if a call should be reviewed.

The league needs to get the calls right that are within its control. Not reviewing the Thompson foul on Huerter in the moment is not doing the game justice.