The NBA issued a statement Sunday that said Clippers point guard Chris Paul was fouled by Golden State forward Draymond Green when he lost control of the ball and should have been awarded two free throws during Game 1 of the first-round playoff series Saturday at Staples Center.
“Just prior to the ball going out of bounds, Paul was fouled by Green and Paul should have been granted two free throws,” the NBA statement said. “Contact preceding out of bounds calls is not a reviewable matter.”
For the Clippers, it was too little, too late to hear that the league office was being transparent about its officials missing a call during Los Angeles’ 109-105 loss to Golden State.
“We still had opportunities to win,” Paul responded about the league’s admission. “When the ball went out of bounds, I knew it was off me. It felt like it was a foul, though.”
The Clippers trailed the Warriors 107-105 when Paul was double-teamed by Steve Blake and Green. Replays showed that Green’s arm was in Paul’s chest as the Clippers point guard tried to get free.
Paul lost the ball out of bounds with 18.9-seconds left, turning the ball over to the Warriors and the Clippers still down by two points.
The officials looked at the replay monitor to make sure the ball went off Paul, awarding the ball to the Warriors.
“It doesn’t change it. It doesn’t make me feel any better,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said about the NBA’s ruling. “But I do think it’s a good thing to do. I think they (the NBA) take ownership. That was a big call. Chris Paul goes to the line now with two free throws to tie the game. Having said that, there’s nothing we can do about it. A mistake happened on their end. But we made our own mistakes and so we have to take ownership of that.”
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Monday night at Staples Center.