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The refs called a jump ball at end of Warriors-Grizzlies Game 1 after missing an easy call

What were the refs thinking?

The Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies played an instant classic Game 1 of their second round series in the 2022 NBA Playoffs on Sunday afternoon. The Grizzlies led comfortably after Draymond Green was ejected late in the first half for a flagrant-2 foul, but the Warriors staged a comeback in the third behind the hot shooting of Jordan Poole. The game was close late into the fourth quarter before giving way to a ridiculous ending.

With Golden State leading by one with under 10 seconds left, the Grizzlies intentionally fouled Klay Thompson. Thompson is a 90 percent free throw shooter for his career, but he missed both shots at the line. On the second miss, the ball seemed to clearly bounce off Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks, but the refs couldn’t figure out who should have the possession. Instead, the refs called a jump ball at center court.

The Grizzlies won the tip, but after a timeout, Ja Morant missed a potential go-ahead layup at the buzzer. The Warriors won, 117-116, to take a 1-0 series lead in the second round.

The Warriors’ win means the late game controversy will mostly be forgotten, but it sure was strange. Watch the call here.

This should have been Warriors ball, with the Grizzlies needing to quickly foul and hope for more misses. Instead, Memphis got a gift with the jump ball call.

There was no review because neither team had a challenge left.

The jump ball is typically a meaningless play to begin the game, but instead Jaren Jackson Jr. beat Andrew Wiggins in a critical tip to give the Grizzlies one last chance. Morant just missed a good look for the win.

It has to hurt for Memphis to lose a game where Green was ejected. The Grizzlies had every chance to win at the end of the game — including a gift from the refs — but they still couldn’t take advantage of it.