Ryan Anderson’s 3-pointer with 1:27 remaining gave the Houston Rockets a 111-102 lead and should have been the dagger, but their inability to grab a defensive rebound and a pair of lazy turnovers handed the Washington Wizards the ball down five with time to close the now two-possession gap.
Then, as referee Marc Davis signaled a 20-second timeout, spreading his arms and lifting his hands to his shoulders with 33 seconds remaining, Wizards point guard John Wall brushed the official’s elbow and was whistled for a technical foul. The call marked Wall’s second tech of the game, resulting in an ejection, and Harden’s ensuing free throw pushed Houston’s lead to six in an eventual 114-106 win.
John Wall gets his second technical foul of the game and is ejected after bumping into a referee. pic.twitter.com/E2RQlO11QV
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) November 8, 2016
Marcin Gortat threw the ball away on Washington’s next possession, so maybe the technical free throw wouldn’t have made much of a difference anyway, but that makes the call no less controversial.
For the record, Davis told a pool reporter after the game Wall’s technical was for “vulgarity towards a game official,” alleging the All-Star used “inappropriate language” over his shoulder after the bump.
NBA Referee Marc Davis pool reporter transcript below: pic.twitter.com/lMIWBF6VJM
— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) November 8, 2016
The camera did not catch Wall’s lips moving after he made contact with Davis, although the Wizards star’s mouth went out of view as he turned his head over his right shoulder toward the official. Either way, it’s a little strange for an official to warn Wall to “watch himself” when video appears to show the referee could be considered equally responsible for the contact. When pressed on the matter during his postgame session with the media, Wall did not mention whether or not he said anything to Davis.
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“I’m just letting it go,” said Wall, according to CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I mean we lost a game, that I’m frustrated about. I didn’t do a great job of helping us win. Move on to the next game. We’ve got practice tomorrow and a game on Wednesday so I’m past that.”
If the league deems his contact with Davis intentional, Wall faces an automatic one-game suspension and possibly further discipline, which would be more bad news for a Wizards team that fell to 1-5. That seems unlikely. Although, so did the technical foul with 33 seconds left in a five-point game.
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