The Warriors scored free basket on Mavs because of ref mistake, according to Dallas protest

The Mavs are alleging a ref mistake caused them to line up incorrectly and give the Warriors a free two points. Now Dallas is protesting Golden State’s win.

The Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks were separated by a half-game in the Western Conference playoff standings entering their Wednesday night showdown in Texas, with the margin being the difference between making the playoffs outright or needing to go through the play-in tournament to qualify. A critically important game for both teams was swung by one of the strangest plays you will ever see, which resulted in the Warriors getting an uncontested layup. Golden State went on to beat the Mavericks, 127-125.

Late in the third quarter and coming out of a timeout, the Warriors inbounded the ball under their own basket. Only one problem: the Mavs were acting like they were receiving the ball on the other end of the court, and it ended up giving Golden State a free two points. This was incredibly bizarre in the moment, but proved to be even bigger in the end when the game was decided by only one score.

I swear I’ve never seen a play like this in NBA history before. Watch the video here:

Mavericks governor Mark Cuban tried explained Dallas’ side of the story after the game. According to Cuban, the refs originally called Mavs ball, then changed the call during the timeout, but never told Dallas. Here’s what Cuban wrote:

“For those wondering about the play with 1:54 to go on the 3rd, let me explain what happened. The ref called Mavs ball . The announcer announced it. Then there was a timeout . During the time out the official changed the call and never told us. Then when they saw us line up as if it were our ball, he just gave the ball to the warriors. Never said a word to us They got an easy basketball. Crazy that it would matter in a 2 point game. Worst officiating non call mistake possibly in the history of the NBA . All they had to do was tell us and they didn’t.”

The Maverick plan to file a grievance with the league over the referee mistake, according to NBA insider Shams Charania:

After the win, the Warriors are the No. 6 seed in the West, which is the final seed that makes the playoffs outright. After the loss, the Mavs fall to the No. 9 seed in the West, which means they would have to win consecutive play-in tournament games to make the playoffs. Golden State improves to 38-36, while Dallas falls to 36-37.

How do the officials let this happen in a pro game? Dallas also had plenty of other chances to win, but giving up a free two points has to hurt.

We’ll update this story as it develops.

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