The NBA admitted that the officials made a mistake by not calling a foul on Zach Randolph on a James Harden drive at the end of Wednesday's game.
NBA last 2 minute report reveals: "Randolph makes contact across Harden's arm/wrist, causing him to lose the ball on the drive." Who knew?— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) March 5, 2015
The Rockets and Grizzlies were tied at 100 at that point and Harden drove to the rim with six seconds left on the clock. Randolph reached in and fouled him but there was no whistle, Randolph was credited with a block and the Grizzlies recovered the ball for the last shot, which Marc Gasol converted to give his team the win. Had the foul been called, Harden would have attempted free throws to give the Rockets the lead.
The foul wasn't completely obvious at first glance, since Harden drove into a crowd, but replays clearly show Randolph got his arm, right above the wrist.
"I had the ball. I drove to the basket. A guy grabbed my arms, and nothing was called," Harden said after the game, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. "I’m very surprised. At the end of the game, everybody’s watching the ball, everybody throughout the entire crowd. Everybody in the gym is watching the ball. Nothing I can say."
Randolph, for his part, hinted that he had fouled Harden but because Harden typically gets whistles, he shouldn't complain. "I don’t remember. He gets so many fouls. Which one? That boy gets every call."
Regardless of how many foul calls Harden typically gets -- and he gets a lot -- he should have been sent to the line in that drive. The NBA is right to acknowledge that, even if it won't give the Rockets a chance to change the outcome of the game.