NBA says Orlando Magic should have retained possession in final second against Lakers

The NBA said the wrong decision was made in the final minute of the Lakers’ game against the Orlando Magic. The Magic should have retained possession in the game’s final second, rather than game going to a jump ball.

On Wednesday night, with the Lakers leading 108-107, the Magic attempted to inbound the ball for one final shot. Before anyone inbounds touched the ball, the game clock expired, which meant it had started too early. The play was reviewed by the league’s replay center in New Jersey, which determined that a clock malfunction caused the error. By rule, a clock malfunction is solved with a jump ball.

This jump ball, though, effectively eliminated the Magic’s chances of getting a shot off to try and win the game.

After the game, referee crew chief Bill Spooner cited the rule regarding clock malfunctions.


In their review a day later, the NBA determined there was no clock malfunction. Rather, the league said, one of the referees inadvertently started the clock early, which should have resulted in the Magic retaining possession.

That scenario is what Magic coach Frank Vogel wanted and what Lakers coach Luke Walton feared.

Walton’s fear stemmed from the fact that the Lakers defended the original inbounds play so well, he didn’t want Orlando to take another shot at it.

Vogel’s perspective referenced fairness.

“I don’t know,” Vogel said. “It’s just common sense would tell me that in that situation, the clock started early, that you do re-do the possession.”

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