"Don't worry @deandrejordan6 you're not the only person that has made a mistake at the end of a game," his mother, Kimberly Jordan, tweeted to console him after the Clippers' 98-93 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.
The Clippers had blown a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, allowing the Trail Blazers to tie the game at 87 with 26.1 seconds left in regulation after Nicolas Batum made a three-pointer.
On the Clippers' next possession, Chris Paul threw a pass that went off Batum with 1.7 seconds left on the 24-second clock, and 2.8 seconds left in regulation. The Clippers were awarded the ball and Paul attempted a running bank shot that circled the rim before bouncing out.
Jordan easily grabbed the offensive rebound under the basket with 0.7 seconds left, but he stood still, holding the ball in one hand as time expired.
He apparently thought the 24-second buzzer was the game buzzer, despite Paul's frantic jumping up and down and screaming at Jordan to shoot.
"I mean it would have been nice if he had tipped it back in," Paul said. "But it also would have been nice if I had just made the shot. It wouldn't have come to that."
Jordan left before reporters could talk to him about the play.
Austin Rivers called Jordan's mental lapse in the final second of regulation "a weird, freaky thing."
"DJ is one of the most mentally sharp guys out there," Rivers said. "No one was mad at him. He didn't make a mistake. It was just a simple error on everybody's part because we should have said something in the huddle."
Jordan finished with 19 rebounds, his 10th straight game with 15 or more boards, and six points. But he had another terrible game from the free-throw line, making only two of 10 shots, while missing all six attempts late in the fourth quarter.
Heavy-legged and short-handed
In Wednesday's game the Clippers were missing three key players: Blake Griffin (staph infection in right elbow), Jamal Crawford (right calf bruise) and Matt Barnes (right hamstring injury).
As a result, several players logged unusually heavy playing time. Hedo Turkoglu played 37 minutes off the bench, easily topping his previous season high of 22 minutes.
J.J. Redick played a season-high 47 minutes and had 26 points while shooting a career-high 27 field-goal attempts.
"If the NBA had us play [Thursday] night, I might boycott that game," Redick said. "We just got off the road, man. It was a five-hour flight back from Minnesota. I went to bed at 3:30, I woke up with my son [Tuesday] morning at 6:30 a.m. I'm taking the next two days off, I'm not doing anything."
The Clippers had Thursday off and don't play again until Sunday afternoon at Golden State.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers has repeatedly said that playoff games often come down to a single possession or a single mistake.
"He went down the line tonight," Austin Rivers said of his father after the loss to Portland, "and each guy made one mistake. Each little play matters that much when it comes down to these games. That was [like] a playoff game tonight."
Rohlin is a Times correspondent.