The NBA have officially announced on Monday that the referee's got the decision wrong to award Dwight Howard his 6th foul in the overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers which subsequently meant the center fouled out of the game.
The Houston Rockets suffered a devastating 122-120 overtime loss in game one of their playoff series with the Trail Blazers and they had to play the final seconds of the game without their all-star big man Howard after he unfairly fouled out.
With Portland up 121-120 with less than 15 seconds remaining in the contest, Howard was adjudged to have fouled English-born Blazer Joel Freeland after the two entangled whilst tussling for a rebound.
It was very much even in the physicality department between the two and it seemed Freeland had grabbed Howard's arm and restricted his movement but the call went against the Rockets center.
The foul was Howard's 6th of the game and called for his instant disqualification from the ball game, to make things worse, Freeland then was awarded two foul shots and split the pair to give the Trail Blazers the two point lead which they eventually won by.
NBA President of basketball operations Rod Thorn released a statement on behalf of the NBA about the matter in question: "After video review by the league office, we have determined that the officials were incorrect in assessing a foul to the Rockets’ Dwight Howard with 10.8 seconds remaining in overtime, The foul should have been called on the Blazers’ Joel Freeland and Howard should have been awarded two free throws.”
This really is a controversial call that has affected the outcome of a huge playoff game, had the call been reversed then Howard would've gone to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game, despite being a terrible free throw shooter, Howard would've had only needed to drain one charity stripe shot to tie the ball game.
The Houston Rockets currently trail the Trail Blazers 2-0 after hosting Portland for the opening two ties, the teams now head to Portland for the next game which looks increasingly more crucial for the Rockets to keep their championship dreams alive.
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