Wanna get away?
Wednesday was a rough night for NBA game officials, producing three separate controversies.
The weirdest and most egregious unfolded in Dallas. Astoundingly, following a timeout with 1:56 left in the fourth, there was confusion over which team had possession. The Mavericks, thinking they had the ball, lined up on their offensive side of the court. But the Warriors were awarded possession, and simply inbounded the ball, leading to an uncontested dunk. The Mavs say they were never informed that the possession call had been changed during the timeout. Yeah, it’s a big deal. Because the Warriors wound up winning 127-125. Yeah, it’s a big deal. Because had Dallas won, the Mavs would have moved ahead of Golden State and into the 6th position in the Western Conference. As it is, Dallas is in the 9th slot. Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban says his team will file a formal protest. It will ultimately be up to NBA Commish Adam Silver to sort all of this out. Confusion over possession following a timeout? That’s embarrassing for the league.
In Minneapolis, game officials admitted that they missed a critical call in the final three seconds of the T-Wolves’ 125-124 win over the Hawks. Minnesota should have been whistled for a foul that could have given Atlanta a chance to tie or win the game. But no violation was called. It’s a shame that officiating mistake deflected attention away from the return to the court of Minnesota big man Karl-Anthony Towns, who had missed the previous 51 games with a right calf injury. KAT scored 22 points, including two free throws with 3.6 seconds left to give his team the lead for good.
We move to LA,, where the Lakers beat the Suns 122-111. What’s the beef here? The Lakers enjoyed a 46-20 advantage in attempted free throws, and wound up outscoring the Suns by 21 at the stripe, causing Suns coach Monty Williams to, uhh, register his displeasure.
Conversely, there was absolutely no confusion or controversy whatsoever in Milwaukee, where the Bucks beat the holy bejabbers out of the Spurs, 130-94. Giannis put up 31 and 14 in just 24 minutes and sat out the entire fourth quarter. Milwaukee now leads Boston by 2½ games atop the Eastern Conference. Next up for the Bucks, Saturday’s road game against the Western Conference leading Denver Nuggets. As for the Spurs? They’re 19-54.
In Memphis, Ja Morant got a standing ovation from Grizz fans as he returned from his eight-game NBA suspension. I guess nothing makes a player more popular and sympathetic than brandishing a gun in a nightclub.
Sending all good vibes and support to NFL free agent tight end Foster Moreau. During a physical exam in New Orleans, Saints team physician John Amoss discovered that the 25-year old Moreau has Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood cancer that affects the body’s lymphatic system. Moreau says he’ll take some time to kick cancer’s ass, and then get back to doing what he loves to do. He caught 12 TD passes in his four years with the Raiders.
NFL front offices are in firm control in free agency. Look at all of these one-year contracts. The remaining unsigned guys are just fighting over crumbs at this point.
No need to get deep into details, but the NHL’s Chicago Black Hawks will not wear pride warmup-jerseys before Sunday’s Pride Night game against Vancouver, as was previously planned. The reason? Chicago has Russian players and family members, and to protect them from possible reprisals, the team doesn’t want to piss off infamous homophobe Vladimir Putin.