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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Ben DuBose

In Clippers’ late rally, NBA says two errant calls harmed Rockets

For the final two minutes of the fourth quarter (and overtime, where applicable) of games at or within three points, the NBA releases a “Last Two Minute” review of all officiated events. The plays assessed include all calls (whistles) and notable non-calls.

On Saturday, the league’s analysis determined that multiple errant calls harmed the Houston Rockets a night earlier.

In Houston’s 106-100 road loss at Los Angeles, the Clippers finished Friday’s game on a 12-1 run. In postgame interviews, the Rockets were frustrated by their inability to score late in the game.

As it turns out, the Clippers’ defense had a bit of help. In its postgame officiating analysis, the league determined that James Harden fouled Alperen Sengun with 1:39 remaining and Kawhi Leonard fouled Jalen Green with 49.2 seconds left. Neither was called, and Houston — holding a slim lead at the time — did not score on either trip.

The second missed call led directly to a turnover, and the Clippers (4-7) promptly took the lead in the ensuing transition sequence.

Houston, which did not have any errant calls to its benefit, was unable to regain the lead for the game’s duration. The loss ended what was previously a six-game winning streak by the Rockets (6-4).

Ultimately, it’s not much consolation for Ime Udoka and his new-look team, since it’s not as if the result will be changed. But perhaps it could add more fuel to the fire for their next game, which also occurs in that same Arena on Sunday night versus the Lakers.

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