Controversy Of Thunder-Blazers Game Explained, As Blazers File Protest To Challenge Result


Last night’s matchup between the emerging contenders out of Oklahoma City and the rebuilding Portland Trail Blazers, was supposed to be an easy win for the Thunder. However, it came different.

When Anfernee Simons drained his clutch 3-pointer with 30 seconds to go, giving Portland a 109-106 lead, it looked like the Blazers might actually leave Oklahoma City with the upset in their luggage.

Unfortunately for them, this did not happen… and that is for various reasons. The most obvious and easiest reason was named Jalen Williams, when his parents welcomed him on this planet. Williams confidently made a jumper to cut the deficit to one with 25 seconds left, before then draining the eventual game-winning shot.



However, it was what happened between the two Jalen Williams shots, what ended up being highly controversial and has now led to the Portland Trail Blazers filling a protest with the league office to challenge the final result.

So, what exactly happened between the two Jalen Williams jumpers? With 25 seconds remaining in the game, the Thunder didn’t need to commit a foul immediately, and tried to force a turnover. This quest ended up being successful, due to a Malcolm Brogdon mishap. BUT, both Brogdon and Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups actively called a timeout before the turnover, but referees didn’t stop the game. This led to the turnover and to a very upset Billups, who collected two technicals, leading to his ejection.



After the game, crew chief Bill Kennedy explained that the official in question’s position made it hard to hear or see Billups calling the timeout.


“The referee in the slot position was refereeing the double team that was right in front of him, which makes it difficult for number one to hear and number two to see a coach request a timeout behind him. He is taught to referee the play until completion, which a double dribble happens, and he correctly calls the double dribble and then pursuant (to that) the technical fouls come forward.”



This statement however didn’t stop the Blazers from filling the previously mentioned protest with the league office to challenge the final result. Billups was still pretty upset over the outcome in his post-game press conferences:


“This was a tough situation. We’ve got timeouts. Referees usually are prepared for that, that instance, that situation. I’m at halfcourt trying to call a timeout. It’s just a frustrating play. My guys played too hard for that. It’s a frustrating play.”


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