A Moment of Greatness Stolen
With the Blazers trailing by two and with under 20 seconds remaining on the clock, Damian Lillard took matters in his own hands and dove into the heart of Utah’s defense to equalize the score. He dribbled past two opponents and jumped by a third before he laid the ball off the glass only to see the center Rudy Gobert block the shot and prevent the ball from entering into the basket. The court officials ruled the play clean, even though the ball had touched the glass before being removed by the Frenchman, meaning it should have been goaltending, and Portland should have gotten the two points.
Lillard Was Fuming
Lillard didn’t hide his frustration with the referees and their decision. He confronted them furiously during and after the game. This behavior would have gotten him fined if the NBA hadn’t released a last two-minute report, which proves the point guard’s case.
According to NBA rules, goaltending is only reviewable when the floor officials whistle it. Since the referees didn’t call anything during the play, there was nothing to be reviewed by the review center in Secaucus, New Jersey. The officials admitted their mistake after the game, but that wasn’t enough to calm down Lillard, whose team is trying to catch Memphis and get into the playoffs.
All that remains is the hope that the NBA will make the necessary changes to prevent such injustice from happening again.