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Watch game clock misfire on final Game 7 play for Spurs, tipping hand

Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, DeAndre Jordan, Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw,

Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, DeAndre Jordan, Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw,

AP

The clock operator made an enormous mistake at the worst time at the end of Game 7 in what was a slugfest of a series between the Clippers and Spurs.

Chris Paul had just made his amazing shot to put the Clippers up two, but the Spurs had time left on the clock — one second. Gregg Popovich had Borris Diaw inbounding the ball on a play that sent several shooters out to the arc then had Kawhi Leonard roll to the rim for an alley-oop attempt. The referee hands the ball to Diaw, the players start moving and...

Buzzzzzz. The horn sounds to end the game.

Except the ball was still in Diaw’s hands — the clock operator messed up and started the clock when Diaw touched the ball, not a player on the court.

After the game, Popovich said that mistake allowed the Clippers to see what the final play was going to look like, it gave their defenders a heads up. You can see how hot he is in the video. As he should be.

When the actual play ran Matt Barnes read the alley-oop attempt and, playing free safety, came over and swatted the pass away, ending the game. Did he get there a step quicker because he saw the play start once before? Who knows. As Popovich admitted as well after the game, the odds of success on a one-second play at the end of a game are slim to start.

But that screw up certainly didn’t help.

What matters now is that the Clippers win and advance to the second round.