Trail Blazers

L2M report reveals 5 mistakes were made by refs in Blazers-Suns game

Trail Blazers

Thursday’s Blazers vs. Suns game lived up to its billing as an entertaining game with playoff positioning on the line for both teams.

The problem is the controversy in the closing minutes of the game leveled at the hands of the officials.

On Friday, the NBA determined that five mistakes were made by Courtney Kirkland, Tyler Ford and Derek Richardson. 

The list includes: 

  • 1:13.8 -- A shooting foul on Mikal Bridges against Covington: The foul is called on Bridges (PHX), who jumps towards Covington and cleanly dislodges the ball and any contact is incidental. There should not have been a foul called. 
  • 1:04.3 -- A shooting foul on Jusuf Nurkic against Dario Saric: Nurkic (POR) maintains a legal guarding position with a collapsed forearm against Saric's (PHX) side and he absorbs the contact during the shot attempt at the basket. There should not have been a foul called. 
  • 34.7 -- Mikal Bridges traveled and it wasn't called: Bridges (PHX) slides his pivot foot at the start of his dribble. That was an incorrect no call.
  • 4.4 -- Norman Powell fouls Devin Booker before the inbounds-- Powell (POR) wraps his arms around Booker (PHX) and the contact affects his freedom of motion. No foul was called when there should have been.
  • 1.1 -- CJ McCollum should have been called for a backcourt violation-- McCollum (POR) is established in the frontcourt when he deflects the throw-in into the backcourt. He then illegally gains possession of the ball in the backcourt.

Here's another look at the mistakes refs made:

The most controversial call was the one made on Norman Powell that left 0.9 seconds on the clock. 

Terry Stotts challenged the call but it was unsuccessful. Officials did change the time remaining on the clock from 0.9 seconds to 2.4 seconds, however. Booker went to the line and nailed both free-throws. Without a timeout, which was used to challenge the Powell foul call, the Trail Blazers were forced to go the length of the court. CJ McCollum missed a potential game winning shot, although time had expired and it wouldn't have counted anyways. 

With the call confirmed, it doesn’t do anything for the Blazers. The record still shows they lost to the Suns and their five-game winning streak snapped. But there are a number of miscues by the officials Thursday night that will leave the Blazers and their fans frustrated. 


Now, Portland seems to be in a situation where their regular-season final on Sunday against the Nuggets is a must-win for them to have some control over their postseason fate. Worst-case scenario they’re in the play-in tournament, which isn’t ideal.

Portland’s most important regular-season game of the season will be at 6:00 pm on NBCNW, the official TV network of the Trail Blazers.