NBA tells Timberwolves that a foul should have been called on Kobe Bryant

Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers star hacked Ricky Rubio across the arm while he attempted a game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds of L.A.'s 120-117 win on Wednesday.

While it won't do the Timberwolves much good now, the NBA has told the team that Kobe Bryant should have been called for a foul on Ricky Rubio on this play in the final moments of regulation, according to Associated Press reporter Jon Krawczynski. The league announced the mistake several hours later.

Although there's no guarantee that Rubio would have made all three foul shots to tie the game or that Minnesota would have prevailed in OT, the missed call is undoubtedly still a bitter taste for a franchise that hasn't had much go right for it this year.

On the Lakers side of things, it's a huge boon to a team trying to hang on to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. The win moved L.A. to 37-35 while a loss would have dropped them to 36-36 and put them in a virtual dead heat with Utah and Dallas.

After the game, Kobe told reporters that the referees "would not call" a foul in that situation. It appears he was right.

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