On Friday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks played out a close-fought overtime game in which a number of players had impressive nights.
For the Cavs, LeBron James scored 29 points to move to 11th in the all-time scoring list and was one assist shy of a triple-double, while Kyrie Irving made clutch free throws on route to 20 points. Paul Millsap (29 points, 12 rebounds) and Jeff Teague (28 points) were on form for the Hawks.
As it turns out, though, the game wasn't quite as memorable for the officials. That's after the NBA themselves noted the refs blew no less than nine late-game calls, spanning the final two minutes of regulation and the overtime period.
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As noted by Sporting News, the nine officiating errors earmarked in the 'Last Two Minutes' report is two-to-three times higher than the average this season.
Of course, overtime extended the period under scrutiny to seven minutes. That doesn't change the fact that there was over one error-per-minute in the final exchanges.
Before the Hawks, losers on the night by a score a 110-108, start blaming the referees for the defeat, however, it is worth noting that the mistakes were shared fairly evenly between the two teams.
Per the report, five of the no-calls went in the favour of Atlanta, while four benefited the Cavaliers.
Calls in the NBA will always be contested by either side and it is a very difficult job getting them right in the heat of the moment. With crunch playoff games approaching, however, the league will be hoping the nine blown calls is simply an anomaly.