Posted March 27, 2013

Clippers lose in OT after referees wave off Blake Griffin’s Hail Mary

Ben Golliver, Blake Griffin, Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Los Angeles Clippers

By Ben Golliver

Almost. Almost!

The Mavericks beat the Clippers 109-102 in overtime on Tuesday night, but only after an improbable Blake Griffin Hail Mary basket was waved off by the referees in the final second of regulation.

The closing sequence in the fourth quarter was action-packed, with Chris Paul and O.J. Mayo exchanging baskets in the final five seconds. That was all only a prelude to Griffin’s near-heroics. With just 0.6 seconds remaining, Matt Barnes lofted a Hail Mary pass to Griffin, who was jockeying with Dirk Nowitzki in the paint on the other end. Much like the famous Christian Laettner play (see below), Griffin came down with the ball. Unlike that play, however, he didn’t have time to pivot and shoot, instead catching the pass and tossing up a prayer in one motion as he fell to the court. Somehow, the circus try banked in, giving the Clippers what would have been a 99-97 lead.

The hoop wouldn’t stand, though, as the referees ruled that Griffin pushed off on Nowitzki during the sequence, illegally creating the space he needed to receive the catch. Replays showed Griffin’s arms extend as Nowitzki stumbled backward, but Griffin couldn’t be blamed if he felt the whistle was a bit quick given the game-deciding circumstances.

The Mavericks went on to win the overtime period 12-5 to seal the home victory. Nowitzki finished with 33 points (on 12-for-21 shooting) and nine rebounds. Paul paced the Clippers with 33 points (on 12-for-15 shooting), six rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Dallas (35-36) moved into a tie with the Jazz and closed within one game of the Lakers for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. The Clippers, the West’s No. 4 seed, dropped to 48-23.

Here’s Laettner’s miracle for Duke against Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA tournament.

Top video via YouTube user sky2847 | Bottom video via YouTube user ncaaondemand

6 comments
TravisBrown
TravisBrown

Why call the push-off but not the travel just before it?

sevensigns715
sevensigns715

I'm not sure if this was a foul or not, but Griffin made this one look EASY!  I caught the second half after my shift at DISH ended, riding the bus home, and there were a couple of clippers fans there watching with me who about lost it!  I got the DISH Anywhere app for my iPad, and it lets me take my live TV and DVR with me on the go.  It's cool being able to watch the game live as soon as I'm done with work, and I'm glad I don't have to wait until I get home to start the DVR!

Golfmanjeff
Golfmanjeff

What a joke. The Damn refs disallow a great play simply because Blake griffin is stronger than the German Deutschebag and was able to get position and grab the lob pass. Nowitzki then flops around and gets the call. I hate NBA refs. LET THE PLAYERS PLAY DAMNIT!!!!!

DougDavis
DougDavis

The flopping rule means nothing when it involves David Stern's darling Deutschebag who would be a bench player at best if he played in the early 90s when they allowed for real defense and none of this "sweet" European fake flopping theature.

RossOrion
RossOrion

i'm a mavs fan but that definitely looked like dirk tripped over himself and sold it....oh well they got the win

BertPhagan
BertPhagan

That looked more like a Dirk Nowitzky flop to me. I thought there was a rule against flopping in the NBA.