A missed call from NBA officials in Miami may have cost the Sacramento Kings a game.
The NBA acknowledged Thursday that officials missed a crucial call in the final seconds of the Kings' 110-107 loss to the Heat on Wednesday.
Tyler Herro should have been called for traveling before making a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds to play, according to the Last 2 Minute Report released Thursday.
“I got all the space I needed to knock it down," Herro said after the game. “Great win for us."
Now, the league calls that win into question. “Herro (MIA) ends his dribble by gathering in the air and landing on both feet (although his left lands slightly before his right),” the Last 2 Minute Report says. “When he moves his right foot, he establishes his left foot as his pivot foot, which he then lifts and replaces to the floor before taking his jump shot.”
TYLER HERRO FOR THE WIN 🚨 pic.twitter.com/O2nb5aG9Wj
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 3, 2022
Kings head coach Mike Brown was seen on the sidelines desperately trying to get through to officials who maintained that they had made the correct call.
“They said it wasn’t a travel,” Brown said in his postgame availability. “If that’s not a travel, I don’t know what the definition of a travel is.”
“To not make that call to me is unbelievable,” he continued, adding that officials missed two “blatant calls” that could have changed the outcome of the game, including a foul on Harrison Barnes.
“It’s right in front of you.. And to say ‘I didn’t see it,’ then give [Miami] calls ... It’s tough to swallow as a coach” Brown said.
“Maybe they’re caught up in the excitement of the crowd,” Brown said before adding that maybe the popularity of the Heat or Herro influenced the officiating.
Mike Brown is NOT HAPPY with the officiating in tonight's game.
He believes Tyler Herro traveled on the game-winning shot 😬 pic.twitter.com/c9IzO5ucug
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) November 3, 2022
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Kings (2-5), who would have been awarded the ball with the game tied and about 4 seconds on the clock had the correct call been made.
The game showcased the Kings’ new competitive culture under Brown. There were 12 ties and 26 lead changes throughout the game, which had an almost 12-minute stretch of the second half where neither team led by more than three points.
“These are games you want to be in, for sure,” said Kevin Huerter, who scored 22 points for the Kings, tying center Domantas Sabonis for highest Sacramento scorer that night.
Questionable NBA officiating
Herro had a game-high 26 points for the Heat, who won for the second straight night after beating the other Northern California basketball team on Tuesday. Notably, that game against the Golden State Warriors also garnered headlines as Jordan Poole was called for three carrying violations in the 116-109 loss.
After the third call, Poole made a frustrated face at officials, and the media saw his head coach Steve Kerr and teammates mirror that sentiment after the game.
“I guess there was an email that went out today,” Kerr said. “Honestly, I didn’t check my email. Like, you know, we’ve got a game today. I’m not looking at email. I was shocked because basically the whole league does that. They’ve been doing it ever since Allen Iverson convinced the referees that it isn’t a carry. It is a carry. What Jordan does is a carry. But the whole league has been doing it. So I guess I’ve got to start checking my email on game day.”
Draymond Green argued that while the calls were correct, they weren’t necessarily fair.
“Every guard in the NBA carries,” Green said. “A lot. The best ball-handlers in the NBA carry often. So if it’s a point emphasis, then let’s see it. But I’m not sure how many I’ve seen in my years, and to see three in one game on one guy.”
The desire for consistency and fairness in NBA officiating is part of a longtime conversation among players, coaches and fans. This latest flashpoint seems to have no clear resolution. The same way that Poole will have to adjust to a new apparent focus on carrying, teams will have to enter the final moments of close games with a heightened awareness that the correct calls might not be made.