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NBA: Clock error cost Celtics time on final play

The drama that sends Wizards-Celtics to Game 7 (1:44)
Check out the final 14.1 seconds of the Wizards’ victory, capped by John Wall’s clutch shot. A berth in the Eastern Conference finals is on the line Monday. (1:44)

The NBA acknowledged in its Last Two Minute Report on Saturday that the Boston Celtics should have had an extra second on the clock to run a final play in a Game 6 loss to the Washington Wizards.

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas missed a hurried, off-balance 3-point heave before the buzzer Friday, and the Wizards staved off elimination with a 92-91 victory that forced Game 7 on Monday in Boston.

John Wall hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds to go and, with a foul to give, Washington’s Kelly Oubre fouled Kelly Olynyk, which left just 1.7 seconds on the clock.

The league’s report noted that Oubre’s foul was “whistled with approximately 2.7 seconds on the clock but the clock runs to 1.7 seconds before stopping. The clock should have been stopped earlier automatically on the whistle or by the neutral clock operator.”

In a Last 2 Minute report, the NBA acknowledged the Celtics should have had an extra second for a final shot opportunity in Game 6 vs. the Wizards.

Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer

The league also noted: “Instant replay is not permitted in this situation.”

Celtics players made no mention of the possibility of extra time coming off the clock during their postgame media access after Game 6, and it might not have changed how quickly Thomas acted to get off a final shot.

The league’s report acknowledged errors that negatively impacted both teams. The report noted two incorrect calls involving Boston’s Al Horford in the final minute, including a missed offensive foul that led to Avery Bradley‘s go-ahead jumper, which put the Celtics up 89-87, and a defensive 3-second violation.

Celtics players and coach Brad Stevens have said in the past that, while they appreciate the league’s transparency, they would prefer the league not offer reviews of the final minutes because it ultimately does nothing to alter the outcome.

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