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NBA: Celtics should’ve had chance to beat Mavericks in regulation

The Celtics overcame a 16-point second-half deficit against the Mavericks yesterday. Jae Crowder drew a foul and hit three clutch free throws to tie the game with 6.7 seconds left in regulation.

Unfortunately for the Celtics, they ran out of gas in overtime and fell, 118-113.

But they should’ve gotten a chance to win in regulation, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.

After Crowder’s free throws, Dallas center Zaza Pachulia threw away a pass to Deron Williams in the backcourt, chased it down and then missed a long heave at the buzzer. Pachulia effectively passed to himself without the ball touching anything between – a clear travelling violation. The league said:

Pachulia (DAL) attempts to pass the ball to Williams (DAL) and is the first player to touch the loose ball

The NBA marked the violation as occurring with 5.6 seconds left, but that appears to be when Pachulia threw the ball away. It didn’t became a violation until he touched it again with about 2.6 seconds left.

Either way, Boston would’ve gotten the ball on the sideline near the Mavericks’ basket with a chance for the final shot – a huge swing.

Instead, the game went to overtime, where the only incorrect call also went against the Celtics.

As Crowder drove for a jumper that he’d miss with 2:56 left, Dirk Nowitzki should’ve been called for a foul:

Nowitzki (DAL) makes contact with Crowder (BOS) that affects his RSBQ on the drive

RSBQ stands for Rhythm, Speed, Balance, Quickness.

As usual, it’s impossible to say the Celtics would’ve won if these calls had gone correctly. But their odds – especially on the Pachulia travel – would’ve been much better.