Donovan Mitchell, in fact, came forward.
The NBA concluded in its Last Two Minutes Report (L2M) that officials did not properly whistle for Mitchell for a lane violation when he rebounded his own missed free throw with the Cavaliers down one on the final possession of the game.
Instead of a whistle, which would have given the Nets possession of the ball with just seconds left, Mitchell tried to correct his own mistake. A group of Nets denied it at the rim, but the ball slipped out of Caris LeVert’s hands.
LeVert found Cavs guard Isaac Okoro in the corner for a game-winning 3-pointer.
“I didn’t look at it very closely, but it’s pretty interesting, the way it came out, a lot of times, it doesn’t go back to the shooter without it being a violation,” Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn said afterward. loss. “So I’ll take a quick look at it when I get back there, but it’ll be interesting to see.”
The missed lane violation call was one of two official errors highlighted in the L2M Report. The league also determined that officials improperly fouled Nic Claxton when he in fact received the entire ball and made only “incidental contact” with LeVert’s hand on a drive to the rim at the 1:52 mark in the last minute. room.
“If they call, that’s what they call it,” Nets forward Royce O’Neale said after the game. “I stopped trying to be a referee and just play basketball.”
Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie argues with officials but said the outcome of the game was only decided on a missed call. The Nets led by 10 midway through the quarter and led by eight points with less than three minutes to go before the Cavs went on a 12-2 run to close out the game.
“At the end of the day, listen up: I’m as hard on refs as anybody, but we had to get to that point,” he said. “That’s a bang, bang play, it’s not like I pushed someone out of bounds or something crazy where we got very slighted. We had to have a cascade of events to get there. So we have to be responsible for that.”
The Nets have lost five in a row and are looking to snap their losing streak in Miami against the same Heat team that topped them in the standings on Thursday.