Nullified 3-pointer by James, shot clock malfunction make for lengthy ending to Warriors-Lakers

LOS ANGELES — Steve Kerr has been part of plenty of exciting finishes between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers.

On Saturday night, the teams played a game that simply wouldn’t finish.

The final 2 minutes, 7 seconds of the Warriors’ 128-121 victory over the Lakers took about 22 minutes to play, bogged down due to a pair of lengthy replay reviews — one that overturned an apparent 3-pointer by LeBron James — and then a malfunctioning shot clock.

“It seems like a few times a year you get clock issues. That’s as extreme as I’ve been a part of, where even the backup unit doesn’t work,” Kerr said. “The last two minutes, everyone is looking at each other about what to do.”

The craziness began when James hit a 3-pointer from the corner to pull the Lakers within 124-120. On the ensuing trip down the floor, Stephen Curry missed a 3-pointer and there was a battle for the ball as it went out of bounds with 1:50 left.

Officials awarded the ball to Golden State, but the Lakers challenged who touched the ball last. At the same time, the NBA’s replay center in Secaucus, New Jersey, was reviewing if James was inbounds during his shot.

The Lakers won their challenge, when it was determined that there was a simultaneous touch before the ball went out of bounds. But James’ 3-pointer was nullified when it was determined his left foot was out of bounds as he began to shoot.

“I’ve never seen that called before like that, at that particular time. It was kind of weird but it took the momentum away from us,” said James, who scored 40 points. “I didn’t believe I stepped on the line. I knew how much space I had over there. And when I shoot, I shoot on my tippy toes. So, it’s kind of hard for me to have a heel down.”

Crew chief David Guthrie said in a pool report that the review on James’ shot was initiated during the first stoppage in play.

“The replay center official will only look at the position of the player’s feet at the moment they touch the floor immediately prior to the release of the shot. This can be applied during other replay triggers as well,” said Guthrie in citing Rule 13, Section II(f)(3) of the NBA rulebook.

Even though the reversal ended up benefitting his team, Kerr said he would prefer made baskets like James’ not being reviewed and for replay only to be utilized for shots at the end of the quarter.

“I think we’re trying so hard to get everything just right, but at the expense of the flow,” Kerr said. “Who cares if the guy’s foot is half an inch on the line? Is that worth going back 45 seconds and changing everything? The whole goal with replay is trying to get everything right but there are hundreds of plays every night that are subjective. We’re never going to get everything right.”

Stephen Curry, though. had a unique view about the reversal when he said: “Any time you can extend the lead without doing anything is nice.”

After a challenge on another out of bounds play, the shot clock then malfunctioned with 1:35 remaining. The Lakers tried to put the ball in play four times, but officials immediately blew the whistle when they saw the shot clock wasn’t working.

After a nearly 10-minute delay, with fans booing during the lengthy break, the PA announcer counted down the shot clock at key intervals.

“I watch a lot of golf. I don’t know if they were doing playing through or running commercials while waiting for the game to come back on. It probably wasn’t the greatest for TV,” Curry said.



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