When the Celtics were looking to extend the game against the Hornets on Monday, there appeared to be a critical call in the final moments of overtime. Jayson Tatum strolled to the line with a chance to tie the game with 5.2 seconds left. They were down three points, but Tatum had three free throws.
But Tatum missed the final game-tying free throw, which was rebounded by Miles Bridges. Jrue Holiday immediately fouled him, but the officials didn’t recognize the call until there was 1.7 seconds left on the clock. So there appeared to be some valuable time that came off the clock for the C’s.
That was indeed the case, according to the NBA’s Last 2 Minute report. While the call was correct in calling Holiday for the take foul, the report noted the foul occurred at the 3.2-second mark and not 1.7, so the Celtics lost out on a 1.5 seconds there. The report also shows that Holiday fouled Brandon Miller going for the initial rebound at 5.2 seconds left, but the officials missed that call, as well.
At the time of the foul, it was a one-point game with 1.7 seconds left. The Hornets got to inbound the ball again, which led to Gordon Hayward getting two free throws but taking the clock down to 0.8 seconds left. After Hayward stretched it to a three-point game, the C’s took timeout to advance the ball and looking for the tie. As the report noted, the C’s should’ve had 2.3 seconds left instead of 0.8 seconds. The Hornets went on to beat the Celtics 121-118 on Monday.
Regardless of the clock malfunction, the Celtics had multiple chances to win Monday’s game in crunch time. They were just unable to do so. Holiday had a chance to ice the game with free throws at the end of regulation, but he missed both shots, allowing the Hornets to force overtime. Jaylen Brown had a few tough decisions down the stretch. There were other miscues from the Celtics in the loss.
The defeat snapped the Celtics’ six-game losing streak as they fell to 11-3 on the season. The clock issue was tough, but the C’s had their opportunity put away the pesky home team. Now, the Celtics will host the Bucks in a marquee East showdown at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at TD Garden.