Late-game clock error cost Celtics one second
In the two-minute report issued Saturday by the NBA league office analyzing the final moments of the Wizards’ 92-91, Game 6 victory, it was determined Washington benefited from an error that ran an extra second off the game clock. The Celtics were denied an extra second to run their final play, and the situation was not reviewable.
The league routinely releases these reports for games that are within five points at the two-minute mark.
The play in question came when the Celtics inbounded the ball with 3.5 seconds remaining and the Wizards holding on to their one-point lead thanks to John Wall’s late three-pointer. Kelly Oubre Jr. fouled Kelly Olynyk as the ball came to Olynyk underneath the basket, and the whistle blew with 2.7 seconds left — but the game clock didn’t stop for another full second. The Wizards had a foul left to give, meaning the Celtics would have to inbound the ball again. Isaiah Thomas took the pass and was left to chuck up a prayer after the clock, reading 1.7 seconds, was started.
“The clock should have been stopped earlier automatically on the whistle or by the neutral clock operator,” the NBA concluded. “Instant replay is not permitted in this situation.”
The report also revealed that the Wizards had two missed calls go against them in the final minute Friday.
First, the league determined that Al Horford committed an offensive foul on Bradley Beal with 41.2 seconds remaining when setting up a screen for Avery Bradley’s jumper that put the Celtics up 89-87. The make should have been disallowed.
Second, the report says Horford should have been called for a defensive three-seconds violation with 33 seconds remaining, a call that when made results in a technical foul and a free throw.