Blazers

Damian Lillard questions controversial call that benefitted the Lakers

Blazers

Heading into Saturday, the Blazers magic number to clinch a playoff spot, and avoid the play-in tournament, was one.

Portland needed just one more win or one more Los Angeles Lakers loss to make it impossible to fall below the sixth seed.

With the Blazers on an off day, star point guard Damian Lillard had a reason to watch the Lakers game against the Indiana Pacers with a rooting interest.

However, a late call confused not just Dame but lots of the Portland faithful.

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With 2:51 left in the game and the Pacers trailing just 111-108, Indiana's Kelan Martin was called for a foul on an Anthony Davis field goal attempt to go to the free-throw line.

Here's the play in question.

Indiana challenged the call and it was reversed, but the refs ruled since Davis had possession of the ball when foul was committed, the Lakers would be given the ball instead of it being a jump ball situation. That Davis shot the ball after the "foul" and missed was irrelevant. 

"The challenge was successful, there is no foul on the play," said NBA referee Sean Corbin. "However, when the whistle blows, Anthony Davis still has possession of the ball so the Lakers will receive the ball." 

Here is a screenshot of when the whistle was blown.

NBA

LeBron James would hit a stepback three-pointer to double the Lakers lead eight seconds later. The Pacers never got closer than five points again, losing 122-115. 

 

The ruling to award Los Angeles the ball confused Lillard, along with many others.

However, the NBA rulebook states "if a Challenge results in the call on the floor being overturned following instant replay review, play is resumed at the point of interruption. For purposes of this rule only, the point of interruption is where the ball is located when the whistle sounds."

But, it's easy to see why Lillard was confused. When a shooting foul had been overturned in the past this season, a jump ball was given at half-court and it clearly looked like a shooting foul. 

Whatever, the Blazers can still earn their way into the postseason with a win over Denver on Sunday, May 16th at 6:00 p.m. PT, here on the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers, NBC Sports Northwest.