A missed call from NBA officials in Miami may have cost the Sacramento Kings a game.
The NBA acknowledged Thursday that officials missed a crucial call in the final seconds of the Kings’ 110-107 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
Herro should have been called for traveling before making a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left, according to the Last 2 Minutes report released Thursday.
“I had all the space I needed to knock him down,” Herro said after the game. “A big win for us.”
Now the league is questioning that win. “Herro (MIA) completes his dribble by collecting in the air and landing on both feet (although his left lands slightly before his right),” the Last 2 Minutes report read. “When he moves his right foot, he establishes his left foot as his pivot foot, which he then lifts and places back on the ground before taking his jump.”
Kings head coach Mike Brown was seen on the sidelines desperately trying to communicate with officials who argued they had made the right call.
“They said it wasn’t a trip,” Brown said in his postgame availability. “If that’s not a trip, I don’t know what the definition of a trip is.”
“Not making that call to me is unbelievable,” he continued, adding that the officials missed two “glaring calls” that could have changed the outcome of the game, including a foul on Harrison Barnes.
“It’s right in front of you.. And say ‘I didn’t see it’, then give [Miami] calls.. It’s hard to swallow as a coach,” Brown said.
“Maybe they’re caught up in the excitement of the crowd,” Brown said, also saying the popularity of the Heat or Tyler Herro may have influenced the officiating.
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Kings (2-5), who would have received the ball with the game tied and about four seconds on the clock if the right call had been made.
However, the game showcased the Kings’ new competitive culture under Mike Brown. There were 12 draws and 26 lead changes throughout the match, which lasted almost 12 minutes in the second half where neither team led by more than three points.
“These are games you want to be in for sure,” said Kevin Huerter, who scored 22 points for the Kings, tying center Domantas Sabonis for Sacramento’s leading scorer that night.
A dubious NBA arbitration
Herro had a game-high 26 points for the Heat, which won for the second straight night after beating the other Northern California basketball team on Tuesday.
Notably, that game against the Golden State Warriors also made headlines as Jordan Poole was called for three carry violations in the 116-109 loss.
After the third call, Poole makes a frustrated face at the officialsand the media saw his coach Steve Kerr and his teammates reflect that sentiment after the game.
“I guess there was an email that went out today,” Kerr said. “Honestly, I haven’t checked my emails. Like, you know, we have a game today. I don’t check emails. I was shocked because the whole league is doing this. They been doing it since Allen Iverson convinced the umpires it wasn’t a carry. It’s a carry. What Jordan does is a carry. But the whole league did it. So I guess I need to start checking my email on game day.
Draymond Green argued that while the calls were correct, they weren’t necessarily right. “Every guard in the NBA wears,” Green said. “A lot. The best ball handlers in the NBA carry a lot. So if that’s a point of emphasis, then let’s see it. But I don’t know how many I’ve seen in my years, and see three matches in one against one guy.
The desire for consistency and fairness in NBA officiating is part of a long-standing conversation between players, coaches and fans of the game that doesn’t seem to have a clear resolution. In the same way that Poole will have to adjust to an apparent new focus on carrying, teams will have to enter the final moments of close games with a heightened awareness that the right calls might not be made.