Foul missed in Rockets-Griz game

ByCalvin Watkins ESPN logo
Friday, March 6, 2015

HOUSTON -- It might not make Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale feel better, but the NBA ruled Thursday the three officials erred in the closing moments of Wednesday night's Houston loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

In the daily "Last Two Minutes" report, in which the league reviews all plays in the final two minutes of regulation/overtime when the score is within five points, the NBA said Zach Randolph should have been whistled for fouling James Harden with four seconds to play.

In a tie game, Harden drove to the basket and was hit by Randolph across the arm but no whistle was called. After a Memphis timeout, Marc Gasol nailed a 10-foot jumper with one-tenth of a second to play, giving the Grizzlies a 102-100 lead, which eventually became the final score.

After the final buzzer, McHale yelled at the officials at midcourt to complain about the non-call on Harden, who draws 6.3 fouls per game, tied for second in the NBA with LeBron James.

"We drove hard to the basket," said McHale, who slammed a water bottle against a table after talking with reporters Wednesday night. "We did what we wanted to do. We wanted to get to the rim and they didn't call a foul."

Randolph joked that he didn't remember hitting Harden, but it was clear on replays and now confirmed by the league that a foul should have been called.

"What I saw or what I felt," Harden said when asked about the last offensive sequence. "End of the game everybody is watching who had the ball, I drove to the basket and I got grabbed on my arms and nothing was called."

Of the 10 plays that were reviewed, three were ruled incorrect, but of course the last one hurt the most. If ruled correctly, Harden would have been given two foul shots.

"At the end of the game, I think everybody is watching the ball," Harden said. "Everybody in the entire crowd, everybody in the gym is watching the ball. I don't know what to say. It's frustrating, man, when you fight so hard to come back and you have an opportunity to win the game and it's frustrating."

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