Dwight Howard should not have fouled out against Trail Blazers, NBA says

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As Dwight Howard and Joel Freeland battled for a rebound, a whistle blew with 10.8 seconds remaining in the Trail Blazers’ overtime win over the Rockets last night. Howard held up his arms as he looked to the referee for the call, as if he knew what was coming.

Sure enough, the official called a foul on Howard, who stomped and spun down the court in disgust.

Howard stopped to stare up at the video screen, hoping for vindication. Well, he got it – just too late for it to change the outcome of Game 1.

NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn, via a league release:

“After video review by the league office, we have determined that the officials were incorrect in assessing a foul to the Rockets’ Dwight Howard with 10.8 seconds remaining in overtime.  The foul should have been called on the Blazers’ Joel Freeland and Howard should have been awarded two free throws.”

Instead, Freeland split a pair of free throws to put Portland up two, and James Harden missed a jumper at the buzzer.

But this was not the only missed call in this game. It was just the one that occurred last. Had the game been called perfectly, maybe Howard going the line with 10.8 seconds left would not have been to win it. There are just so many variables, including this play.

I appreciate knowing the NBA believes it missed the call, but other than that, I don’t really know anything else about this game.