After the Miami Heat’s Game 6 loss to the Boston Celtics on Saturday, plenty of Miami faithful took to Twitter to question a clock ruling that had a huge role in the team’s defeat. Now, the NBA has released an official explanation on what really transpired that led to the decision.
For those who missed it, Heat fans were in uproar over the issue. It started when Jimmy Butler was fouled by Al Horford from the 3-point line with less than three seconds left in the contest, with his ensuing free throws giving Miami the 103-102 lead.
As many have noticed, when Horford was whistled for the foul, there were only 2.1 seconds left on the clock. However, the officials put the clock back to three seconds, raising the confusion of several viewers. Heat fans brought out receipts that the foul occurred much later, including video replays and screenshots from the specific play.
The correct time of the foul was crucial since the Heat ended up losing by milliseconds. Had it been less than three seconds, it’s likely that Derrick White’s putback game-winner at the buzzer wouldn’t have counted.
In its explanation, however, NBA officials argued that the foul happened at the three-second mark, hence the ruling:
“Replay review of the foul called on Horford (BOS) pursuant to a coach’s challenge was deemed unsuccessful. Horford (BOS) made contact with Butler (MIA) during his shooting motion and a foul was warranted. During the review, the Replay Center Official also determined that i) the foul occurred at 3.0 seconds and adjusted the clock accordingly; and ii) Butler’s shot attempt was taken from behind the three-point line, and therefore three free throws were awarded,” the NBA officiating report noted, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Of course it’s unlikely Heat fans will accept this explanation given all the video evidences presented. But at the end of the day, Jimmy Butler and co. have no other choice but to move on from it. Miami needs to focus on Game 7 after blowing their 3-0 series lead, and that’s all that matters right now.