In a game in which a combined 81 free throws were attempted, the Jazz left the floor believing they had earned three more.
A handful of fans threw toy basketballs and paper airplanes to the floor in disgust. Al Jefferson strutted off the floor immediately, shaking his head. The referees exited nearly as abruptly. Three Jazz executives — Kevin O’Connor, Randy Rigby, Greg Miller — were on the floor, screaming and pointing.
The Clippers may be the hottest team in the NBA, but nobody was hotter than those three.
Randy Foye’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was one of few he didn’t make on Saturday, and the collision with Matt Barnes as he was fired didn’t help. But after calling four fouls in the final minute of the Los Angeles Clippers’ 116-114 win, this time the referees practiced restraint.
So, too, did the Jazz when it came time to address the dominant issue.
“He just, he played good D, man,” Foye said. “That’s all I got to say on that.”
Foye pump-faked and stepped into Barnes before shooting, and it appeared it may have been the Jazz guard who initiated contact, which could validate the referees’ decision not to blow a whistle.
The non-call was just the final twist in a wild night that saw the Jazz, who have lost six of their last eight games, build and blow a 19-point lead.
Foye, who joined the Jazz as a free agent after spending two seasons with the Clippers, led the Jazz with a season-high 28 points and made 5 of 9 3-pointers. After Chris Paul missed his only free throw of the night (13 of 14) with 17.8 seconds left, the Jazz answered with a pair of makes by Al Jefferson.
However, Jefferson undid that good by fouling Paul 25 feet from the basket when he jumped out to trap.
“We were trying to trap and the referee called a foul,” Jefferson said. “… Don’t matter what I think, he called it.”
It gave Paul two more free throws, of which he missed neither.Next Page »