The Kings blew a six-point lead in the final minute of the fourth quarter against the Jazz on Sunday.
Sacramento wasn’t sharp down the stretch, but maybe there was a bigger culprit: Officiating.
But how did the game even get that far?
The Kings were called for a five-second violation with 53.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but Arron Afflalo didn’t get his full time to inbound the ball, according to the league:
Afflalo (SAC) has the ball for fewer than 5 seconds from the time the ball is placed at his disposal to the time of the whistle.
The NBA is better using technology to train referees, but technology should aid officials more during games. A timer could track the five-second count more accurately than an official counting with arm extensions.
Alas, the league leaves itself too exposed to missed calls on plays like this.
Jazz center Rudy Gobert also should have been called for offensively fouling Afflalo with 13.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter, per the league:
Gobert (UTA) sets the screen on Afflalo (SAC) and continues moving into him, affecting his ability to defend the play.
Instead of the Utah turnover a correct call would’ve caused, Gordon Hayward came around Gobert’s screen and hit a 3-pointer.
Those three points and the Kings’ incorrectly lost possession were pivotal in the game reaching overtime, where, again, the Jazz won.