As far as Doc Rivers is concerned, this is why NBA officials can't have nice things like instant replay.
The Los Angeles Clippers coach railed at the referees after a controversial replay decision catalyzed his team's late collapse against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals on Tuesday night. The call that left Rivers incensed occurred with the Clippers holding a 104-102 lead over the Thunder with just 11.2 seconds remaining in the game. Thunder guard Reggie Jackson was driving toward the rim and appeared to be fouled by Matt Barnes of the Clippers. There was no foul call on the play and the ball went out of bounds. The officials went to the scorer's table to check a replay to determine who touched the ball last. As Barnes appeared to make contact with Jackson's wrist or forearm rather than the ball, it seemed that the Clippers would regain possession. To the dismay of Rivers, the officials awarded the ball to the Thunder.
"It was our ball," Rivers said during his postgame press conference. "Everybody knows it was our ball. I think the bottom line is they thought it was a foul and they made up for it. Then, in my opinion, let's take away replay. Let's take away the replay system because that's our ball, we win the game and we got robbed because of that call. It's clear."
YOU MAKE THE CALL: Thunder Or Clippers Ball?
Rivers was irate immediately and still fuming after the Thunder scored on the ensuing possession to pull out an improbable 105-104 win.
"I think all three of those officials are terrific officials but on that call they got it wrong," Rivers told reporters. "That's a game-defining and possibly a series-defining call. And that ain't right."
Following the wild finish, referee Tony Brothers addressed the call and it seems that the officials may not have had access to the same replays as TNT viewers.
"When the ball goes out of bounds, the ball was awarded to Oklahoma City," Brothers told a pool reporter after the game, via ESPN. "We go review the play. We saw two replays. The two replays we saw were from the overhead camera showing down and the one from under the basket showing the same angle but from a different view. And from those two replays, it was inconclusive as to who the ball went out of bounds off of. When it's inconclusive, we have to go with the call that was on the floor."