NBA: Two late missed calls benefited Raptors vs. Celtics in Game 6

Kemba Walker in Celtics-Raptors Game 6
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Celtics and Raptors will play Game 7 tonight.

But Boston came quite close to winning the series earlier.

The Celtics led by two points in the final second of Game 3. But Toronto perfectly executed the game-winning playKyle Lowry making a brilliant pass, OG Anunoby drilling a 3-pointer. Otherwise, Boston would’ve taken a 3-0 series lead, which has never been overcome.

Up 3-2, the Celtics also had opportunities to end the series in a double-overtime Game 6. However, a two late incorrect calls favored Toronto, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.

With the game tied and 4.4 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Kemba Walker should’ve drawn a shooting foul on Anunoby, per the league:

Anunoby (TOR) makes contact to Walker’s (BOS) arm during his shooting motion that affects his driving shot attempt.

That wouldn’t have necessarily given Boston a win. As Lowry and Anunoby showed in Game 3, Toronto didn’t need much time to score on a last possession.

But with Walker – who made 86% of his free throws this season – at the line for two attempts, the Celtics very likely would’ve won with a correct call.

Instead, the game went to overtime.

With 1:35.1 left in the first overtime, Norman Powell got away with travelling, according to the two-minute report:

Powell (TOR) slides his pivot foot at the start of his dribble.

Powell used his too-quick first step to draw a foul. He made both free throws, two key points in forcing a second overtime, where Boston won.

Of course, there were also missed calls before the game’s final 12 minutes. They might have benefited the Celtics.

But the league publicly ruled only these two as errors, and they were big.

If Boston wins tonight, these missed calls get forgotten.

If Toronto wins, they loom even larger.

The NBA also said Raptors coach Nick Nurse didn’t commit a violation when crowding the court and potentially inducing a Jayson Tatum turnover:

Coaches may be on or off the bench from the substitution box line (closest to the coach’s bench) to the baseline. Coach Nurse’s (TOR) presence in the corner is not illegal and he does not directly interfere with the play.

If a coach getting that close to the action is allowed, the rule should be changed. It’s not safe. It’s not basketball.