Referees Admit To Missing Call For 76ers Late In Game

Kelly Oubre Jr., 76ers, NBA
Mar 27, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (9) and head coach Nick Nurse argue with referee Kevin Scott (24) after a loss to the LA Clippers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Far too often during the 2023-24 NBA regular season, the referees have been the topic of discussion about a very close game. In the matchup on Wednesday night between the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, it happened yet again.

The final minute the the game between the two teams was action-packed. It was a furious back-and-forth that ultimately resulted in the Clippers coming away with a 108-107 victory but with a major caveat.

“On the last play on the floor, in real time the crew interpreted that play as the defender jumping vertically,” NBA referee and crew chief Kevin Scott said. “However, in postgame video review we did observe some slight drift to his left by the defender [Paul] George, and a foul should have been ruled.”

On the final play of the game, Kelly Oubre Jr. was driving to the basket and was hit hard enough that he was knocked to the ground. No foul was called, as the Clippers celebrated their come-from-behind victory and the 76ers were left incensed.

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76ers head coach Nick Nurse had to be restrained by his assistants after storming the court to confront the referees. While he admits that some of the late-game breakdowns from his team was self-inflicted, he was not happy with some of the calls that were made.

“Well, at 104-101, we had the ball sideline, [and] Tyrese [Maxey] breaks into the backcourt wide open, slips and falls, and they get an and-1 out of that,” Nurse said. “We come down and score, they’re full-court press and they knock one off of Kelly out of bounds.”

“I think [Oubre] took it in there pretty hard,” Nurse said. “I looked at it on our computers a couple times. I thought it was certainly contact, certainly as much of the last two or three that got called and-1s at the other end.

“I thought it was enough contact to call. [But] that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

While Nurse storming the court was bad, Oubre took it to another level. He has since gone viral on social media for cussing out all three referees in support of his coach and feeling slighted at how the game ended.

Both are likely looking at heavy fines for their actions after the game. But, emotions can get the best of people, especially with the race to avoid the NBA Play-In Tournament being such a tight one.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Kelly Oubre Jr., Nick Nurse, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

“First and foremost, heat of the moment,” Oubre said when asked about his actions after the game. “This is an intense basketball game, of course. And we’re not perfect. The refs aren’t perfect. I want to apologize for just losing my cool, because that’s something I try to work on each and every day, and try to represent God in the best way I possibly can, and that wasn’t it. So I just ask for forgiveness.

“But I saw Coach Nurse getting riled up and if our coach is going to fight for us and he’s going there, then I’m right behind him. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t cool. So I’ll take whatever penalties come with that and you have to move on, but I got to be better in a sense.”

The 76ers led by as many as 15 points in the game, as the only lead the Clippers had was one point, which was the margin of victory. With the loss, Philadelphia has now dropped into eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

The 76ers are now sitting 1.5 games behind the sixth-place Indiana Pacers. It was a missed opportunity for Philly, as several teams ahead of them in the standings lost on Wednesday, but they were unable to take advantage.

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