Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard had to be held back.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard had to be held back.

NBA world blows up over ‘horrific’ call

A nightmare The Portland Trail Blazers have suffered a horrific blow, losing a 117-114 game to the Utah Jazz, despite a horror call from officials.

With the game in the balance at 116-114 with 19.5 second left, an inbound ball went to Damian Lillard, who had been tearing up in the league and he did it all himself.


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Lillard got the ball in the back court, brushed past Joe Ingles and tossed up what should have been the game tying layup.

But it was knocked away by the Jazz's Rudy Gobert only after it bounced off the backboard, which should have been a goaltending call and would have tied up the game.

ESPN commentator Ryan Ruocco erupted over the missed call.

"Lillard splits the D, drives and it looks like it should have been a goaltend. It should have been a goaltend. No call. That absolutely looked like it should have been a goaltend."

The moment the ball was thrown up.
The moment the ball was thrown up.

After watching the replay, it was clear the call was most definitely wrong.

"Clearly a goaltend," Ruocco said.

Doris Burke added: "As soon as it hits the window, you can't get it off that. This one hurts if you're Portland because it's obvious and you've competed so hard."

The Blazers had one more shot to tie the game, but the three point attempt from Caleb Swanigan bounced off the rim and saw the Jazz escape with the victory.

But Lillard's frustrations were still boiling over as he began to explode in the direction of the officals while being held back by security.

After the game it was revealed the Blazers players had received word from the officials the shot attempt "wasn't even close" to a goaltend.

Post-match, NBC's Jamie Hudson asked crew chief Josh Tiven if it could have been challenged.

Of course that statement didn't sit well with Lillard who took to Twitter, saying "We don't wana hear this punk A** s***".

The moment at the end of the game overshadowed what was another sublime performance from the Portland point guard who went off with 42 points, six rebounds and six assists.

But it was the blown call and Lillard's post-game explosion which stole the show.

Social media was just as heated as the All-Star guard and couldn't believe the officials had missed such a blatant decision.

Lillard was furious post-game, savaging the referees to the media.

"It cost us the game, man," he said. "All night, they're double-teaming me, trapping me, trying to be physical, I shot three free throws the whole game. I'm telling them they are grabbing and holding the whole game - that's fine.

"We get to the last play of the game and they miss an easy call. Then they tell us it's an easy no call, like that's obviously not a goaltend. It cost us the f***ing game, man."

Fans are pushing for the star not to be fined for the outburst but it has once again shone an unflattering light on the NBA referees.

Further heightening the ugly ending was Utah Jazz beat writer Andy Larsen who tweeted out a clock malfunction in the latter stages of the contest. A call the officials should have made, but once again missed.

Lillard's teammate CJ McCollum made sure media remembered it was a missed call, and said "it was very costly for us".

"It cost us the game, we can't get it back, we're competing for a playoffs spot," he said. "If you miss a call, that's one thing, I just don't like the explanation I got, the explanation I got really p***ed me off, because there are three of you out there so if one of you doesn't see it, the other two are supposed to be in position to see it so for someone to say 'it wasn't even close' and 'it may have been obvious to you, but it wasn't obvious to us' it just makes me think you're not capable of doing the job the way you're supposed to be able to do it. You should be reprimanded, you should be fined accordingly - 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."