The Portland Trail Blazers were furious on Friday night after a missed goaltending violation cost them a shot to tie the game against the Utah Jazz.
With 19.5 seconds left, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell scored a go-ahead layup. Portland’s Damian Lillard tried to answer with a layup on the other end, but Rudy Gobert blocked the shot with 11.2 seconds left in the Trail Blazer’s 117–114 loss.
Gobert committed goaltending by blocking the shot off the glass. But, the officiating crew made no call on the play.
“We get to the last play of the game and they miss a easy call,” Lillard said. “Then they tell us it’s a easy no call, like that’s obviously not a goaltend. It cost us a f—— game, man.”
After the game, NBA referee Josh Tiven told a pool reporter that officials missed the call.
“We’ve since looked at it via postgame video review and unfortunately saw that we missed the play, and a goaltending violation should have been called,” Tiven said.
The missed call was not a reviewable play because the crew did not call it on the floor.
The Blazers were outraged over losing a shot to tie the game and force overtime to possibly win it. Portland came away with a costly defeat amid a push to get back into the playoff picture.
“It cost us the game. We can’t get it back,” Blazers guard C.J. McCollum said. “When we make mistakes, we’re fined. And they cost us a game that could cost people money, so, they should be fined accordingly, because that’s terrible. Not just bad, terrible.”
Gobert said he was trying to make a play on the ball and felt like the no-call overshadowed a memorable Utah comeback from a 14-point halftime deficit.
“Obviously it’s a big play because it’s the last play and it’s what everyone is going to remember,” he said. “But I think we did a great job playing in the second half. Mistakes are made. Officials are human. I feel like it’s all part of the game.”
The loss overshadowed a strong night for Lillard, who finished with 42 points. McCollum scored 27 points, Gary Trent added 16 and Mario Hezonja 11 for the Blazers, which had only seven healthy players available for the bulk of the final three quarters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.