The Cavaliers were in great shape against the Celtics on Friday, leading by four points with seven seconds left.
Then, it all went so wrong for Cleveland.
J.R. Smith was called for fouling Evan Turner on a made layup, cutting the margin to two points. Turner missed the free throw, but the ball went out of bounds off the Cavs. Then, Avery Bradley made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give Boston the win.
Rewind, though, and an incorrect call drove the sequence, according to the NBA.
Smith shouldn’t have been called for fouling Turner, per the Last Two Minute Report:
Smith (CLE) makes incidental contact with Turner’s (BOS) body as he attempts the layup.
If this were officiated correctly, the Cavs would’ve had the ball and a two-point lead with 5.9 seconds left. That’s not a lock to win – they’d still have to inbound the ball and make their free throws – but it’s close.
Cleveland is definitely entitled to feel the refs wronged them out of a victory.