LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers appreciates the NBA admitting officials missed a key call in the Clippers' 109-105 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the opener of the first-round playoff series. But it didn't make him feel any better.
Rod Thorn, NBA president of basketball operations, said in a statement Sunday that Clippers guard Chris Paul should have received a foul call on the Warriors' Draymond Green that would have awarded him two free throws shots with 18.9 seconds left. The Warriors were leading 107-105 at the time. The NBA also stated officials correctly reviewed the ball went out of bounds off Paul after the uncalled foul. During the video review, referees are not allowed to retroactively assess a foul call, even if it has influence on possession.
"That was a big call," Rivers said before the Clippers' practice on Sunday. "Chris Paul goes to the line with two free throws to tie the game. Having said that, there's nothing we can do about it. A mistake happened on their end. But, we made our own mistakes. So, we have to take ownership of that.
"We can't worry about any of that stuff. To me, that's more clutter."
On the next possession, Golden State's Harrison Barnes was fouled and made one of two free throws to push the Clippers' deficit to 108-105. Paul was next fouled by the Warriors, but he missed both free throws. The Warriors went on to close out the game.
"We still had opportunities to win. When the ball went out of bounds, I knew it was off me," Paul said. "I felt like it was a foul, but I don't know."
Green saw the NBA's statement as an empty apology.
"At this point it doesn't matter," Green said. "We won the game. I think refereeing is one of the inexact sciences in all of mankind. I'm sure there were other missed calls throughout the game."
The NBA has made a practice of being transparent on blown calls this season.
"It doesn't make me feel any better," Rivers said. "But, I do think it's a good thing to do. I think they take ownership."
Green doesn't think the NBA's policy helps anything.
"The game is determined now," Green said. "I'm not sure what anyone really gets out of it. I would say the same thing if it weren't in our favor. I probably would be more upset if it went the other way because there is nothing you can do about it now. I'm not sure what anyone gets out of it."