The Grizzlies got a thrilling last-second win over the Nuggets on Tuesday, but the NBA admitted a day later that an incorrect call was responsible for that final possession in Memphis.
On Thursday night, the Nuggets filed a formal protest with the league over the matter, according to the Associated Press.
"Commissioner (Adam) Silver has done a fantastic job championing league transparency and accuracy for teams and fans alike with the addition of in-game video review and the NBA’s instant replay center," Nuggets president Josh Kroenke said in a statement. "However, in this case, a reviewable non-judgment call regarding possession was not sufficiently reviewed, and considering the time and score, we feel as if the incorrect ruling had a direct impact on the final outcome of the game."
Here’s how the league’s Last Two Minute Report explained what the Replay Center got wrong:
Angles reviewed in the Replay Center appeared to show Mudiay (DEN) touch the ball prior to it going out of bounds. The call on the floor was therefore confirmed as MEM possession. However, upon review of an additional angle postgame, it was determined that Mudiay did not touch the ball and possession should have been awarded to DEN
Had this play been ruled correctly, it would have been Denver’s ball with a one-point lead and seven tenths of a second remaining — a scenario which would have almost certainly guaranteed a victory for the Nuggets.
It’s unlikely that the protest will be considered, mainly because of how weird things can get when you try to replay a game at some later date. During the 2007-08 season, the Hawks and the Heat replayed the final 51.9 seconds of a December game because the stat crew mistakenly ruled that Shaquille O’Neal, then with Miami, had fouled out in the overtime session.
When the teams met in March and this portion of the game was replayed, O’Neal wasn’t even there: He had been traded to Phoenix in February, which made the whole thing fairly ridiculous.