Turns out, the only missed call in the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report helped Cousins and Sacramento.
Trying to preserve a three-point lead, the Kings got a crucial stop due in part to Cousins getting away with a defensive three-second violation with 26.7 seconds left, according to the league:
Cousins (SAC) is in the paint without actively guarding an opponent for longer than three seconds.
A correct call would’ve given any Portland player on the court – likely Lillard, an 87% career free-throw shooter, including 90% this season – a free throw. The Trail Blazers also would’ve kept the ball with a fresh chance to score.
Instead, Cousins’ presence in the paint foiled a Maurice Harkless drive. Portland had to settle for a forced Damian Lillard 3-pointer, which missed. At that point, the Trail Blazers had to begin fouling, and Sacramento pulled away.