Bulls on wrong end of 2 crucial missed calls in Cavs loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
In its Last Two Minute Report for Monday's slate of games, the NBA admitted to two missed calls in the final 12.1 seconds of the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls' 145-134 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Both calls were crucial to Cleveland forcing overtime and thus completing their comeback bid from down 21 points in the first half. And the Bulls were on the wrong end of each.
First, the report said that Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen should have been called for a travel on a layup that made the score 128-127 Bulls with 12.1 seconds remaining in regulation.
"Allen lifts and re-plants his pivot foot without releasing the ball," the NBA's report reads.
Then, there was the doozy. According to the report, Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell should have been whistled for a lane violation on the missed free throw putback that tied the contest 130-130 with three seconds to play. Those were Mitchell's 57th and 58th points of the night and forced an overtime period in which he scored 13 more to finish with an historic 71 points for the game.
"Mitchell steps over the plane of the free throw line before the ball touches the basket ring," the report reads.
This no-call was especially curious because, one, it was obvious, and two, Bulls guard Alex Caruso had been called for two lane violations earlier in the contest. In comments to reporters postgame, Billy Donovan predicted this incorrect no-call would end up on the Last Two Minute Report.
"I think the Two Minute Report will come out and say he crossed the line. I could be wrong and if I'm wrong, I'll apologize. But at least what I saw on film, it made it hard for Patrick to block him out because he was certainly across the free-throw line before the ball hit the rim. And if that's the case, it's a violation," Donovan told reporters in Cleveland. "And my question would be: Who is looking at that? And again, if I'm wrong, then I'll apologize and say I was wrong. But that's what the rule is so clearly we're going to see that in the Two Minute Report."
Unfortunately for the Bulls, drawing the short end of these Last Two Minute Reports is nothing new.
During their 103-102 loss to the Cavaliers on New Year's Eve, for example, the NBA later admitted an incorrect no-call of a shooting foul Caris LeVert committed on DeMar DeRozan as he put up a game-winning floater attempt, which should have resulted in two free-throw attempts.
Way back on Oct. 21, the second game of the season, officials missed a different shooting foul on DeRozan game-winner attempt — that time a 3-point try that would have given him three free throw attempts to try and put the Bulls ahead in a game they lost 102-100 to the Washington Wizards.
The NBA shares these Last Two Minute Reports for transparency purposes. But they do nothing to change the result of any of the above losses, which sting all the more as the Bulls sit 16-21 and 11th in the East almost halfway through the season.
"It doesn't do anything. 'We're sorry.' But it could be three games now. It could be at Washington, it could be the other (Cleveland) game and it could be this game," Donovan told reporters Monday. "And that's unfortunate because I felt our guys battled and competed."
Donovan went on to note that the Bulls still needed to control what they could control better, which is undeniably true. With free throws removed, Mitchell scored 40 points in regulation, a gaudy figure. For the game, Cleveland outrebounded the Bulls 13-6 on the offensive glass and converted 24 second-chance points, the fourth game in a row the Bulls have allowed 20 or more points in that department. And whatever your opinion on the officiating, the Bulls did struggle to contain Mitchell without fouling on the defensive end.
Those are just a few factors in what ultimately culminated in a 21-point collapse. The result moved the Bulls to 7-13 in "clutch" contests this season and 1-4 in overtime games.
Although a sour taste may linger, the Bulls have no choice but to attempt to bounce back on Wednesday, when they host the red-hot Brooklyn Nets.
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