NBA: Two calls beneficial to Lakers missed in loss

  • Lakers and NBA reporter for ESPN.
  • Covered the Lakers and NBA for ESPNLosAngeles.com from 2009-14, the Cavaliers from 2014-18 for ESPN.com and the NBA for NBA.com from 2005-09.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The NBA upheld the two calls Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel took exception with in L.A.’s 111-108 Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals on Friday, however the league did find two other calls that should have gone the Lakers’ way.

In its last two minute report released Saturday, the NBA announced that Jimmy Butler should have been called for a shooting foul on LeBron James with 1:01 remaining in the fourth quarter for extending his arm and making contact with the side of James’ head on a drive to the hoop and L.A. trailing 105-104. The missed call ended up being inconsequential as James corralled his own miss and laid the ball in to put L.A. up 106-105 with 58.2 seconds left.

It also determined that with 28 seconds remaining, Miami’s Andre Iguodala should have been called for a defensive three seconds violation for not clearing the lane when not actively guarding an opponent. Again, the no call did not affect the Lakers as that possession ended with a layup for Anthony Davis to put L.A. up 108-107 with 21.8 seconds on the clock.

After Butler finished 12-for-12 from the free throw line — including 4-for-4 in the final minute — Vogel felt like the officials had too much of a heavy hand in determining the final outcome.

“I felt two bad calls at the end put Butler to the line, you know, and that’s unfortunate in a game of this magnitude,” Vogel said. “Anthony Davis has a perfect verticality, should be a play-on. And the time before that, Markieff Morris has his hands on the ball — that should be a play-on. They were given four free throws and made it an uphill battle for us. Very disappointed in that aspect of the game.”

The L2M report showed that Morris’ foul on Butler with 46.7 seconds remaining was correct because the Lakers forward made contact with Butler’s left arm after the Heat star gathered the ball to enter his shooting motion.

As for the call on Davis with 16.8 seconds remaining, the league also labeled it correct, explaining in the L2M that Davis “jumps from point A to point B and initiates body contact with Butler during his driving shot attempt.”

The Lakers lead the Finals 3-2 and can close out the series with a win in Sunday’s Game 6 (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC).

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