The NBA’s Last Two Minute Reports have not been kind to the Chicago Bulls this season, usually confirming missed calls that could have changed the team’s fortune in close games. On Thursday, the latest iteration of the report refuted Zach LaVine’s claim that he was fouled on the final play of their match-up against the Washington Wizards, which ended up being a 100-97 loss.
In the final seconds of Wednesday’s game with the Bulls down three, LaVine drove by Washington guard Delon Wright and claimed he was fouled before shooting a long jumper. After the game, LaVine said that even Wright admitted to committing a foul on that play. However, the report deemed that the refs were right not to blow their whistles, saying:
“Wright (WAS) makes clean contact with the ball and then retracts his arm from LaVine’s (CHI) path to avoid follow-through contact during the drive.”
And so, the no-call was confirmed, and Chicago’s season of close losses continued. Despite LaVine’s valiant effort—he scored 38 points on the night—the Bulls now have a 19-23 record.
It shouldn’t have come down to that play
LaVine admitted that the game shouldn’t have come down to the final play, as the Bulls allowed Washington to go on a 41-21 run in the third that turned a 13-point halftime lead into a seven-point deficit heading to the final quarter.
Worst of all, the Wizards were playing without their two best players, Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, who are both recovering from injuries.
“There are plays throughout the whole game that could go either way, not just in the last 2 minutes. I think, obviously, you want those calls to go your way. But you can’t bet on it. You’d rather win without having that Last Two Minute Report,” LaVine said. “I’d rather win by six or seven points and not have to look at the L2M Report. But that’s basketball. It sucks. It can go either way. That’s the way it is.”
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