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NBA admits to mistake at end of Celtics-Wizards Game 6

Isaiah Thomas

Not that it will change anything, the NBA admitted Saturday that the officials for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Celtics and Wizards let extra time run off the clock late in the tight affair.

“The foul is whistled with approximately 2.7 seconds on the clock, but the clock runs to 1.7 seconds before stopping,” the NBA’s two-minute report read. “The clock should have been stopped
earlier automatically on the whistle or by the neutral clock operator. Instant replay is not permitted in this situation.”

It happened following John Wall’s eventual game-winning three-pointer with less than four seconds remaining. Celtics big man Kelly Olynk was fouled on the ensuing in-bounds pass. The foul appeared to have occurred with about 2.7 seconds remaining and Boston down a point. Unfortunately for the Celtics, officials didn’t review the clock stoppage and let it go down to 1.7 seconds.

Ultimately, Isaiah Thomas would miss a desperation heave — sending this hard-fought series back to Boston for Game 7 on Monday.

There’s no telling whether Boston would have hit the series-clinching shot in the final seconds. Though, it is highly likely that Thomas would have been able to find a better shot if there was one second more on the clock.

No one should criticize the officials for their initial mistake. The issue here is that it did not go to review, at which point the mistake would have been caught.