Dwight Howard: 'Have to win Game 2'
On Tuesday, the Rockets gave feedback on the league's transparency.
"Well, I guess we have to go play those 10 seconds back," Howard joked after the Rockets' practice. "Can't do nothing about it now, it doesn't matter. We just have to win Game 2."
It was a crucial call in a tight game, which the Blazers won 122-120. With the Rockets down one with 10.8 seconds left, Blazers center Joel Freeland wrapped up Howard in an attempt to keep him away from an offensive rebound. But Howard was called for the violation and was disqualified for picking up his sixth foul. Freeland went to the free throw line, making one of his two tries.
The Blazers ended up winning the game, but a league statement said Howard should have been awarded two free throws. The trip to the foul line could have swung the game in Houston's favor, although Howard is a 58 percent career free throw shooter. Howard shot 9-of-17 from the line in Game 1.
Under new commissioner Adam Silver, the league has been more transparent on officiating in the playoffs, releasing statements and video reviews on its website.
But not everyone is cheering the league's transparency.
"It almost makes me more mad that they announced it, knowing that it was wrong," Rockets forward Chandler Parsons said.
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"It was obvious," Parsons said of the botched call. "But it doesn't do anything now for us that [the league] said that. At least they owned up to it, but it doesn't change the fact that we're down 0-1."
Both Portland coach Terry Stotts and Houston coach Kevin McHale declined comment.
The NBA has also admitted an officiating error in the Golden State Warriors' Game 1 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. Like the Howard foul call, the mistake came at a crucial juncture in the game.
With about 20 seconds left in regulation and the Warriors up 107-105, Clippers point guard Chris Paul collided with Warriors forward Draymond Green and Paul lost the ball out of bounds. The league announced that Paul was fouled by Green and should have been awarded two free throws. The Warriors ended up winning by four.
Portland point guard Damian Lillard said every team in the league has been on the wrong side of a blown call.
"Sometimes it's in your favor and sometimes it's not," Lillard said. "But it's not like they're going to replay the last 30 seconds of the game. It happened, but one play never dictates the outcome of a game."
The Blazers and Rockets play Game 2 on Wednesday.
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