Heat Check

NBA: Refs missed calls late that may have changed outcome of Heat’s loss to Wizards

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reacts during overtime of the game against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in Washington. The Wizards won 117-113.
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reacts during overtime of the game against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in Washington. The Wizards won 117-113. AP

It turns out the Heat should have had two more opportunities to win Tuesday night’s game in Washington in the closing seconds.

According to the NBA’s Last Two Minute report – a daily report analyzing officiating during the final two minutes of any game that’s within three points at any point in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime – of the Heat’s 117-113 overtime loss to the Wizards, a pair of missed calls in the closing seconds could have given Miami a better chance to avoid what could end up being a crucial defeat in its battle for potential playoff seeding.

The report says that Washington’s Markieff Morris took longer than five seconds to inbound the ball with 12.9 seconds left in overtime and the Wizards clinging to a 114-113 lead. Had the five-second violation been called, the Heat would have had a chance to win it with a score. Instead the Heat was forced to foul Tomas Satoransky, who went on to make one of two free throws to extend the lead to 115-113 with 10.2 seconds left.

On the ensuing possession, Dwyane Wade missed a two-foot floater with 4.1 seconds left that Kelly Olynyk rebounded allowing him to put back a layup attempt with 1.8 seconds left that also missed.

But on the play, the report said a foul should have been called on Morris, which would have given Olynyk a chance to tie the game at the foul line.

The report states: “Morris makes contact to Olynyk’s right elbow and affects his putback shot attempt.”

With no call, the Wizards grabbed the rebound and the Heat fouled Kelly Oubre, Jr. who put the game out of reach with a pair of free throws.

The report also said that Josh Richardson was also called incorrectly for a foul on Morris on an attempted steal with 1:36 left in overtime. The report stated that Richardson “maintains a legal guarding position and cleanly dislodges the ball from Morris.” On the play, Richardson knocked the ball away in the direction of Wade, who would have had a fast-break opportunity. Instead, Morris converted one of two free throws to give the Wizards a 110-109 lead.

The loss dropped the Heat (34-31) to three games behind the Wizards (37-28) in the Eastern Conference standings with one meeting left between the teams Saturday at AmericanAirlines Arena. Washington also now holds a 2-1 edge in the season series thanks to the victory.

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