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NBA: Paul Pierce’s late 3 vs. Hawks should have been waved off because of moving screen from Marcin Gortat

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce


Near the very end of Game 5 between the Wizards and the Hawks, it appeared as though Paul Pierce had struck again.

Pierce had gotten free in the corner, and knocked down a three-pointer which gave his team a one-point lead with 8.3 seconds left.

Of course, the lead only held for one more possession, as Al Horford cleaned up a miss by Dennis Schröder to give the Hawks the victory, and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

A day later, the NBA says that Pierce’s shot shouldn’t have counted anyway, thanks to a moving screen by Marcin Gortat that the referees let go unnoticed.

From the league’s Last Two Minute report:

“Gortat (WAS) continues moving as he sets the screen on Millsap (ATL) without giving him the opportunity to stop and/or change direction.”

Looking at the replay, Gortat was clearly moving on the screen, so the league labeling this as an incorrect no-call is in fact correct in hindsight.

But just imagine if Atlanta didn’t score on the following possession, and the Wizards won on this play, with the league later admitting that the shot never should have counted in the first place.