LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The NBA’s Last Two Minute Report from Wednesday’s heart-stopping 125-122 victory for the Toronto Raptors over the Boston Celtics said the officials got one key call wrong — and another one right.
The document — which analyzed more than 50 decisions the referees did, or did not, make during the back-and-forth affair that allowed the defending champion Raptors to force a Game 7 Friday night — said Toronto benefited from one key missed call late: when Raptors forward OG Anunoby hit Celtics guard Kemba Walker on the arm with 4.4 seconds left in regulation as he attempted to hit a go-ahead shot with the score tied.
Walker missed, and eventually Pascal Siakam missed at the other end, sending the game to overtime. Afterward, Walker was asked what happened on the play, and he avoided getting into any hot water with the league office over a potential missed call.
“I don’t know,” Walker said, when asked what happened on the play. “I just missed a layup I guess.”
The only other call that was deemed to be incorrect was that Raptors guard Norman Powell did not get called for traveling on a play with 1:35 remaining in the first overtime period. That missed call also benefited Toronto, as Powell drove into the lane and was fouled by Walker, and knocked down a pair of free throws after he should’ve been called for a walk.
Meanwhile, one of the most controversial moments to come from the game was ruled to have nothing wrong with it at all. With 48.5 seconds remaining in regulation, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum drove into the lane and fired a pass into the corner. However, Raptors coach Nick Nurse was straddling the corner of the court, a few feet away from Tatum’s teammate, center Daniel Theis, and the pass whizzed past Theis and out of bounds for a Boston turnover.
The L2M report, however, deemed the no-call to be correct.
“Coaches may be on or off the bench from the substitution box line (closest to the coach’s bench) to the baseline,” the report stated. “Coach Nurse’s (TOR) presence in the corner is not illegal and he does not directly interfere with the play.”
After the game, Tatum was asked about Nurse being in the corner and said it was only his fault that a turnover was committed.
“Yeah, I mean, I turned it over,” Tatum said. “That was my fault. Can’t blame Nick Nurse. He’s not playing. It was my fault.”
Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, however, had a few things to say about Nurse and his behavior on the sidelines after an emotional game ended with fellow guard Marcus Smart getting into it with a few people, including Raptors center Marc Gasol.
“I think it’s a lot of emotions,” Brown said. “It’s very intense and things like that and sometimes things seem to go overboard at times. Let’s keep it in check, let’s keep it respectable, and let’s keep playing basketball.
“Grown men should be able to control themselves, especially coaching staffs. So, let’s continue to do what we gotta do, play basketball, and be ready to fight.”