NBA: Dahntay Jones should’ve been called for foul on Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant comes down on his left ankle after taking a closing-seconds shot against Atlanta Hawks forward Dahntay Jones.
(Erik S. Lesser / EPA)

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NBA said Thursday that a foul should have been called on Dahntay Jones and two free throws awarded to Kobe Bryant in the controversial closing seconds of the Lakers’ 96-92 loss Wednesday to the Atlanta Hawks.

There was no other punitive action indicated by the league, such as a fine or retroactive flagrant foul.


The NBA said the foul should have been called because Bryant was not given “the opportunity to land cleanly back on the floor.”

The NBA’s judgment on the play wouldn’t satisfy Lakers fans or Bryant, who had said that referees and, in an indirect way, the league, “really need to protect shooters.”

Bryant sustained a severely sprained left ankle on the play after coming down on Jones’ foot. He will be out indefinitely, according to the Lakers.

If Bryant had been able to make the two free throws, or if a Lakers player replacing him at the line was similarly successful, the game would have been tied at 94-94 with the Hawks facing about three seconds to win in regulation.

Instead, the Lakers fouled Kyle Korver with 2.6 seconds left and he made both free throws.

The referees in the game were Monty McCutchen, Pat Fraher and Tony Brown.


Was Dahntay Jones’ foul injurying Kobe Bryant a dirty play?

Kobe Bryant sprains left ankle in Lakers loss, out indefinitely

Atlanta beats Lakers, 96-92, to end their four-game win streak