The Dallas Mavericks lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night but things could've been very different if not for a blown goaltending call with 16 seconds left in the contest.
The NBA have since acknowledged the that referee's of the game got the decision wrong to award a block to Warriors Jermaine O'Neal after the ball floated up by Monta Ellis was on a downward trajectory when O'Neal got his hand to the shot.
The actual play occurred whilst the score was tied at 120-120 in overtime, Ellis floated up a lay-up which was adjudged to have been blocked and Stephen Curry took the basketball down the other end of the court before draining a game-winning jump shot.
Mavericks star Dirk Nowtizki questioned the officiating crew of Danny Crawford, Sean Corbin and Eric Dalen about the non-call.
Nowitzki said: "I think his layup has a chance to get to the rim, and if that’s the case, you can’t just get it out of the air. To me, that’s a goaltend. I asked the referees what happened. The explanation was that the ball was two feet short. If that’s the case, then he can get it out of the air, but where I was from, I think it had a chance to at least hit the rim. That’s a goaltend to me.”
Whilst on the other side, the Warriors center O'Neal, who came up with the block had this to say: "It was like a second away from goaltending, if you’re too late, and I was on top of it, I blocked it, grabbed it and outlet it. There’s no way they could have called that."
Unfortunately the game is now over for the Mavericks and nothing can be changed, the atmosphere in Dallas was that of a playoff game and the implications of the result have massive effects for both ball clubs.
Another loss for Dallas leaves them precariously positioned near the bottom of the playoff spots in the Western Conference, whilst the win for the Warriors pushes them further away from the likes of the Mavericks at the tail end of the playoff places.