“There’s three of them. There’s a guy on the baseline and I just saw it. I mean, visibly I called timeout. I don’t understand how that timeout’s not called. That may cost me, I don’t care.”
Orlando coach Steve Clifford was right — both that the officials blew the call and that it would cost him.
The NBA’s Last Two Minute Report confirmed that the referees missed Steve Clifford calling a timeout with 4.4 seconds left. Then they missed Elfrid Payton fouling Evan Fournier, forcing a turnover that ended the game.
Here’s the final @OrlandoMagic play… where’s Fournier going?
— David Baumann🎙 (@DavidBaumannORL) February 7, 2020
Those two missed calls sealed Orlando’s loss to the Knicks. After the game Clifford stormed out on the court, dropped some F-bombs on the referees, then stormed back to the locker room before saying the above words to the assembled media.
That led to the NBA fining Clifford $25,000 for “verbally abusing game officials,” the league announced Friday.
Clifford has been around long enough to know the fine was coming when he stepped on the court and started venting at officials. Hopefully, he feels he got his money’s worth.