NBA Last Two Minute report says referees got Pacers’ Hield no-call on Celtics’ Brown right

NBA: Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers

NBA: Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers

Jaylen Brown called for the end of this game to be investigated. Especially where a foul was called on the floor, with Buddy Hield fouling Brown on a jumper with 3.2 seconds left in a tied game, but the Pacers challenged and the call was overturned.

We know how LeBron James felt about the call.

See what I’m saying! ‍♂️. JB clearly got hit in the back of the head. They reviewed the play, just to reverse it and say he didn’t. MAN WHAT!! Good ass game to have an ending like that. And yall see why I be going out there when it happens

— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 9, 2024

However, the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report says the officials got this call right, it was a correct no call. Here is the explanation:

“The video clearly shows that Hield reaches forward and makes contact with the ball from behind Brown (BOS). While in contact with the ball, Hield also makes minimal contact with Brown’s head, and on review that contact was correctly deemed incidental. As the rulebook makes clear, the mere fact that contact occurs does not necessarily constitute a foul; contact which is incidental to an effort by a player to defend an opponent, reach a loose ball, or perform normal defensive or offensive movements is not considered illegal.”

This is an interesting ruling for a league that has been incredibly careful with any blows to the head. In some corners of front offices and locker rooms, there is a sense that the L2MRs have become a tool to back referees in key spots more than bring transparency. The theory goes that the league wants its referees to look right on the big issues.

This Last Two Minute Report did find a couple of missed calls — including the one that decided the game.

• The referees should have called an illegal screen on Myles Turner screening Derrick White with two seconds left in regulation.

• The referees incorrectly called a foul on Kristaps Porzingis on Ben Mathurin’s shot with 0.6 seconds left. The NBA’s explanation:

Porzingis (BOS) is above the ball and legally contests Mathurin’s (IND) shot attempt, with some incidental arm contact occurring concurrent with the block.

The referees reviewed the call to see if the shot took place before the clock expired (it did) but could not review the foul itself. Boston had used its challenge and could not challenge this call. Mathurin hit both free throws, giving Indiana the win, on what should have been a no-call.