NBA uses interesting wording when defending controversial play at end of Game 5

It’s kind of a moot point because coach Doc Rivers told reporters at practice Wednesday he wasn’t going to protest the controversial out-of-bounds call at the end of Game 5 on Tuesday at Oklahoma City,  but the NBA on Wednesday issued a rather interesting statement on it.

“With 11.3 seconds left in the game, the basketball went out of bounds on the baseline and the referees ruled the ball belonged to the Thunder,” Rod Thorn, president of basketball operations for the NBA, said in the statement. “The referees then used instant replay to review the play. In order to reverse the call made on the court, there has to be ‘clear and conclusive’ evidence. Since no replay provided such evidence, the play correctly stood as called with the Thunder retaining possession.”

All due respect, it just seems funny that the statement included the word “correctly” in it when, from here, the Thunder’s Reggie Jackson last touched the ball. We saw the replay on a fellow reporter’s lap top afterward, and someone got a real terrific angle on it because if it didn’t go out of Jackson, then it was some kind of optical illusion.

Of course, there was lots more than that to the Clippers’ 105-104 loss. They know it. But it did play a role in them blowing a 13-point lead with just over four minutes to play. That also led to the foul by Chris Paul on Russell Westbrook, who made three free throws for the game’s final points.

Consequently, OKC  leads the series 3-2 and can close it out Thursday in Game 6 at Staples Center. If the Clippers prevail, Game 7 is Sunday at Oklahoma City.

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