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Markieff Morris steps out of bounds on game winner, but referees couldn’t review it

Morris hit a game-winner with 0.4 seconds remaining, but because the clock had not expired, officials couldn’t review the play.

On the second-to-last possession of the Washington Wizards’ overtime victory against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, Markieff Morris stepped out of bounds before dribbling into a game-winning baseline jump shot with less than a second remaining that gave the Wizards their fifth win in a row.

Officials did not review the play because there was still time remaining on the clock.

According to the official NBA rulebook’s instant replay guidelines, referees must review all made shots with no time left on the clock. Those shots can be reviewed for determining a) whether the shot was a two- or three-point attempt or b) whether or not the shooter committed an out-of-bounds violation.

But Morris’ shot left .04 seconds remaining, weaving its way through an officiating loophole that dealt Portland a devastating loss at home.

There is a laundry list of reviewable plays in the final two minutes or overtime of a game, including:

  • Determining whether or not the ball touched the rim
  • Goaltending
  • Confirming possession
  • Determining if a player was in or out of the restricted area

Figuring out whether or not a player stepped out of bounds isn’t one of them, and it cost the Trail Blazers on Saturday.

That doesn’t make too much sense.