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Second Big Officiating Error Caught In Closing Minutes Of Jazz, Blazers Game

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum (3) argues with the referee during the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After the controversial ending to the Utah Jazz game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, another major officiating error occurred in the final moments.

The Jazz had a 109-107 lead with 1:50 remaining in the game when Rudy Gobert dished the ball to the corner to Royce O’Neale who buried a three-pointer to put the Jazz up 112-107 with 1:43 left.

The Trail Blazers’ next possession had C.J. McCollum dribbling the ball up the left side before crossing past Joe Ingles who baited on a Caleb Swanigan screen. McCollum found Swanigan on the roll after the pick, who made a floating jumper near the foul line to trim the deficit to 112-109. The problem on that possession was that the clock never restarted and the officials never caught the error, basically giving the Blazers two points without the clock running.

An estimated 10 seconds would have ran off the game clock had the clock actually started.

With 1:17 remaining in the game, former Weber State legend Damian Lillard drilled a triple to tie the game. Bojan Bogdanovic gave the Jazz the lead back with 52.7 seconds left. Lillard tied the game once again with 42.6 seconds left. Donovan Mitchell put the Jazz up by two with 19.5 seconds after driving to the basket.

On the final possession for Portland, Lillard was given the ball in the backcourt. Once he arrived in the frontcourt, he drove to the basket when he layup was blocked off of the backboard by Rudy Gobert after the ball had touched the backboard and should have been called a goaltend, awarding the Blazers two points which would have tied the game.

But, the officials did not make the call and Portland was forced to foul the Jazz. The Blazers pleaded with officials to look at the replay but by rule officials can’t review a play if they didn’t blow the whistle.

The block off the backboard by Gobert occurred with 13.6 seconds left on the game clock with the foul by Portland happening with 9 seconds remaining.

The Jazz snapped their 5-game losing streak with a 117-114 win. They will be on the road to face the Houston Rockets on Sunday at 5 p.m.

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