Rules are not meant to be broken. The Orlando Magic learned that lesson the hard way after a tough 107-108 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night.
“Because there’s no possession when the clock goes off, the ruling is that there’s a jump ball, center circle, the rule is 13E-9-2. And anytime there is either an inadvertent whistle and/or a horn when the ball is in the air, there’s no possession and we go center circle, jump ball.” – NBA Crew Chief Bill Spooner
And with that rule, the Orlando Magic found themselves losers of their second game in a row Wednesday night.
The Orlando Magic felt cheated. Hurt. Flat out disappointed. A NBA rule took their final possession taken away from them because of a game clock error.
“We feel cheated,” Orlando forward Aaron Gordon stated in the locker room. “It felt like they gave them the game. It’s just a terrible end to a game of basketball. They didn’t even give us a chance to win. And that’s the last time we see them. We have to wait a year to play them again. They have gotta change that rule and I think they will.”
The Magic made a late 10-0 run to put themselves up one point just before fouling Laker’s center Brook Lopez. Lopez, who finished with 27 points on the night, made two free throws that put the Los Angeles Lakers up for what would be the final possession.
With six-tenths of a second left, the Magic attempted an inbound alley-oop towards the rim for forward Aaron Gordon. The shot clock began as the ball was thrown and the buzzer sounded in the air before being touched by anyone or anything. Based on the current NBA rule, the shot clock issue required a jump ball at center court. After the jump ball, the Lakers swatted the ball away as the real game clock expired.
Aaron Gordon most critical of necessary change
Gordon seemed to be most vocal about the need for a rule change as he finished with 28 points and 14 rebounds.
“Vucevic played perfect defense,” Gordon told reporters. “They called a foul. They gave them the game. For the most part the referees did a good job throughout the game. Just down the stretch it was bad. So they’ve got to change the rule.”
After the game was over, head coach Frank Vogel made critical comments about the officiating late in the game as well.
” They took the ball from us and made it a jump ball with 0.6 seconds, which kills any chance of us tying the game or winning the game,”Vogel said. “I don’t know. It’s just common sense would tell me that in that situation, the clock started early, that you do redo the possession. They felt otherwise.”